“…you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:14-15, NIV)
As a dad, I am responsible to teach and train my kids how to live. By design, I am held accountable to care for and instruct them to develop a moral compass and biblical worldview to guide and shape their lives. Sometimes parents delegate certain aspects of this training, such as formal education–science, math, language arts, etc. We get assistance from churches through Sunday school, children and youth ministries. But ultimately, we as the parents are the key influencers.
There are times when I like being one of the most influential people in my kids’ lives. Those times when they are learning to ride bikes, go fishing, or play football in the backyard. I love those moments when they ask me how a car works or why Jesus died on the cross.
But there are other times, when I fear the influence I carry in my boys’ worlds. I consider those moments when I lose my emotional cool and express frustrations in the tone of my voice. I hate the fact that there are moments when I push my kids off because my heart is filled with the self-worshiping attitude of “I need…” this or that. My decisions, actions, and words display idolatry at the core. Oh, God! Forgive me!
But then, the Holy Spirit reminds me of who I am. He offers me grace to carry on. He whispers in my hear, “You’re loved. You’re free.” Sometimes God strikes me through a song I hear on the radio. Other times, one of my boys say something that just pierces my heart. Sometimes it’s a podcast or a sermon heard at my local church. However it happens, God taps on my heart, draws me to Himself, and reminds me of my call…to be a dad. He shows me my responsibility to teach and train my kids the most profitable way to live. And in that moment, I am reminded of the most vital and influential way I can instruct my children: The Word of God. The Bible.
Everyday, I need to be in the Word. I need to read, study, meditate, and memorize the Bible. It is the source of all and everlasting life through Jesus Christ. It is sufficient for all things and all people. And therefore, I need to lead my family to the Word as well.
The Apostle Paul wrote to his apprentice, Timothy, “…you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
It is through reading, studying, meditating on, and memorizing the Bible that we become “wise for salvation.” We can begin to comprehend God’s supreme power and sovereignty through His Word. In this place of soaking in the Word, we become stabbed with the reality of our depravity. We fall overwhelmed by the love of Jesus, through His death, burial, and resurrection. It’s in and through the Bible that we hear and respond to God’s grace offered to us, even while we are still sinners. Scripture is the doorway to salvation, through faith in Jesus Christ.
I have determined that there is no more sufficient textbook with which to train my kids than the Bible. Although there are other important subjects to learn and books to read. If they read and understand the Word of God, they will have heard the most preeminent message of eternal hope. Outside of this message, there is no other teaching that carries such grand and everlasting importance.
If there is one thing I must do with my boys, I must get into the Word. I want them to know, grasp, and live the Word of God. And to do this, they must regularly hear, read, and study the Bible.
I realize very well that parenting is hard work. Sometimes it is frustrating or just flat out discouraging. There are times when we parents do not treat or invest in our kids as we should, but the good news is that God sustains us by grace. He gives us a second chance…and a third and a fourth and… He simply asks us to be faithful. And even our faithfulness is a gift of grace from God so that we can do those things He has called us to–including, being parents.