As parents, it is with us the responsibility lies to steward into our children’s lives, regardless if we know all the answers to things or not. Leaving them off entirely, to a Sunday school teacher, a youth group leader, a mentor, etc to have them be the parent is not fruitful for anyone. We can often times convince ourselves that it is in our children’s best interest to have someone else teach them what they ought to know about Christ, as maybe we feel we don’t have time, don’t have enough knowledge, and so on. When we hand over our parental authority, and our responsibility to a teacher(s) it puts the family at risk, and it puts that teacher at risk to potentially overstep their position in your child’s life.
Parenting Our Children is Our First Ministry
We have the time, we have the authority, and we surely have the responsibility to be teachers of the living word of God, for our kids. If we truly couldn’t handle it, would the Lord have given us this task? (1 Corinthians 10:13) Teachers are a blessing to our community, however, before we utilize the help of our church community to further speak the truth to our kids, we must first hold fast to our duties as parents and realize that our children are our first ministry!
Teachers in the church community are here to help reinstate the Gospel outside of the home, continue the work of pointing kids to Christ, and they are also here to help keep accountability within the family of Christ (Ephesians 6:1-4, Titus 2, John 3:16). Let’s be encouraged that the Lord— by giving us children, has also given us the opportunity and responsibility to teach and steward into their lives! (Psalm 127:3)
We need to be careful about who we allow to teach our kids, because there are many who use a platform, for their own glory and not God’s. We live in a world that wants entertainment and affirmed feelings, more than Truth and knowledge of Scripture. Why are we washing the Gospel down, giving lessons and preaching on self-exaltation— doing so much just for the sake of entertainment rather than preaching the Good Word? We ought to understand the importance of spreading the Gospel and being salt and light, instead of taking advantage of the platforms the Lord has allowed us to use for speaking into people’s lives.
If we don’t truly have Faith in Christ alone, how are we going to encourage our children to have it? Ephesians 2:8 ESV “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
By actively working to teach our children in and out of the home, inviting questions, debate, and getting involved in what they are learning; we are sharpening their minds to think things through without our helping hand. We are getting them ready for the day they leave from under our wing and into the world to one day start their own families.
Most importantly though, our hope and prayer should be to point them to Christ, getting them on a foundation so solid that they don’t crumble anytime someone throws a doubt at them.
A foundation built upon Christ will stand firm against every trial our kids will face, and the building process starts with us.
The goal is not to be perfect. It is to provide a Godly example to our children in the way we parent them and live out our lives for the Lord; hoping that one day they too, will find salvation in Jesus Christ.
Keeping and Creating Fruitful Relationships:
Just because we are to teach our kids, it does not mean no one else can! There are so many helpful teachers that the Lord has blessed our church communities with as mentioned above. So, how can we bare fruitful relationships with those who are teaching our kids, making sure no boundaries are crossed and no roles have been miscommunicated? We cannot rely on the teacher to parent our children, and our children should not rely on the teachers to be the parents. We must understand our responsibilities as the parent, and act those out accordingly.
First Steps to Take: Finding a Good Teacher
- Get to know what they teach and how they teach, before they start teaching the kids.
- Once you’re comfortable with this teacher, get involved and stay involved with what they are teaching.
- Communicate your expectations, where you might be needing help with your kids, and go from there.
- Establish any areas where boundaries are needed.
- Establish a pace of learning!
- Talk with your kids about what they are learning, and find out how they are processing what is being taught.
- A relationship between a parent and a teacher should be where both persons acknowledge the other’s role in the kids lives, and act their own out, accordingly.
By keeping clear, honest communication with a teacher and establishing any boundaries, you’ll be able to weed out most of the really bad ones. We need to be able to discuss areas we would love their helping hand, but also not become lazy allowing them to take the lead with our children. Lastly, just show your kids that you care, that it matters what they learn, what is influencing them, and what they are exposed to, because it does matter.
Children (and teenagers) don’t need entertainment, they need the Truth. They also need to be given a chance to ask questions and learn! Can we make learning fun? Sure, but don’t try to force it to be fun. Despite it being okay to try and make learning fun, we also need to do the best we can to make sure they truly understand why they are learning and the importance of it, even when it is considered “boring” in their eyes.
Before I close, I will leave scripture for some studying, but as always, I encourage you to delve deeper into the Lord’s word!
Scriptures to Study: