“I, your servant, have feared the Lord from my youth.” 1 Kings 18:12
Those words were spoken by Obadiah. We don’t know much about him except that he was a steward in King Ahab’s court. We also don’t know anything about his family or how he was raised. What we do is know that he loved the Lord since he was a child.
As a Christian mother I have a deep desire for my children to trust and love God early in life, don’t you? Obadiah lived at the court of one of the most heinous and terrifying Kings in the Old Testament and yet his faith remained intact and strong.
Someone took the time to teach and train him about the things of God.
If you are a parent to young children I want to encourage you to not grow weary of teaching and training your children in the things of God. Don’t wait until your kids are older to teach them about their need for Christ.
We should be praying daily that the Lord would grab a hold of our children’s hearts at a young age. In the mean time we are called to train them in righteousness (Pro. 22:6; Deut. 6:7), always pointing them to the Christ and his work on the cross on their behalf because that is their hope and their salvation.
Here are a few benefits of training our children in holiness.
1. Spared 100’s of regrets
Many parents hope their kids don’t make the same mistakes they did. While we cannot guarantee that this will happen, teaching our children God’s word and godly way for living can help spare them the pain and regrets of sins that many of us committed in our youth. But teaching is not enough. They need to see that we truly believe and follow what we are teaching them.
Good instructions are to be accompanied by good example. That teaching which issues only from the lips is not at all likely to sink any deeper than the ears.
2. Form godly habits
Paul tells us that we are to train ourselves for the purpose of godliness because it will be a benefit to us in this life and in the life to come (1. Tim. 4:7). Being thankful in all things, serving our others, working hard, forgiving each other, practicing contentment, and praying regularly are just a few godly habits that are not only good for us to have but also good for our children. It will cause them to be a blessing to society and be an benefit in their own life as well.
3. More knowledge of the Word
The word of God is a living book. It can change a man’s soul. It can turn him from a person who hates God to someone who loves him. The scriptures is what God uses to convert, change, and make new. Therefore we need to be reading and talking about the Bible with our kids regularly. Praying that it’s words would take root in their heart.
4. Helps them build a biblical worldview
A worldview is a framework from which we make sense of the world. With a biblical world view we use the Bible through which we analyze what is going on around us. A biblical worldview tells us what is good and evil, what is just and unjust in light of what the Bible teaches. Our worldview influences our beliefs and our behaviors. Teaching our children how to evaluate everything in light of God’s word and character gives them hope in the midst of hurt and evil.
5. Teaches them what it means to love others
The Word of God tell us that we are to love God with our whole being and then we are to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31) Jesus is our best example. He loved perfectly. He was patient and kind. He was selfless and humble. If we want our children to love others well then we need to point them to Jesus and teach them what he was like and how he loved people.
6. Ultimate goal of seeing them saved
Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Psalm 34:11
I know that it can sometimes feel as though we are talking to deaf ears. We feel as though our words are not reaching the heart. Don’t grow weary of teaching. Sow seeds of love and faith by speaking of the majesty of God. Be faithful in reminding them of their need for salvation and of Christ’s work on the cross.
While salvation is all of God, we must be faithful to hold out the good news of the gospel and the beauty of Christ to our children.
Our motto must continue to be perseverance. And ultimately I trust the Almighty will crown our efforts with success.