It’s official. I cannot be trusted. Left to my own desires I am a selfish human being, self-seeking with impure motives. This is why I love God’s Word so much. I don’t have to rely on my opinions or feelings to guide me. After all, my likes and dislikes change with the wind. As much as I claim the authority in my home, there is a higher authority to which I am called to submit. Holding an opinion higher than God’s opinion--wasn’t that the real sin in the Garden? God told Adam and Eve that they were good, but being a good creation wasn’t enough. They had to be like God…or better yet, BE God and decide what right and wrong was in their own eyes. They wished what God said wasn’t the final say in the matter. Satan raised a doubt about the intent of God’s words in order to question the very motives of God.
But there is a sure and true foundation upon which my belief systems can and should be founded and grounded. This safe place is found in God’s Word. I don’t have to re-evaluate my belief system every time society does. As a Christian, I can simply look in the Book to find His thoughts, I can seek the authority of scripture for my life and my home.
And a critical task of parenting is teaching our children to know who they are in God's good world. How do I establish Scripture as final authority for my children?
Allow your children to see you bow your knee to God’s Word. Be transparent enough in your walk with God to let them in on your struggles with your flesh. Let your kids see how God is still at work shaping you to be more like Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
Let them hear about a verse that God used to encourage you on a difficult day. Or how you feel God challenging or stretching you. Perhaps you have a co-worker who is constantly unkind to you. You could tell your kids about it and about how you might wish to retaliate, but that you remembered a scripture and humbled yourself and treat them with grace (Romans 12:9-21) and respectfully hold them accountable (Matthew 18:15-20).
When your children are old enough have them search the Scriptures for themselves. When your kids come to you with difficult questions about cultural issues encourage them to study what the Bible says. Allow them to find the answers themselves.
2 Timothy 2:15 tells us, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."
You may want to show them how to use study resources. Finding the answers in God’s Word will leave a much more lasting impression upon them than a two-hour lecture from you! When we quit force-feeding the Bible to our children and allow them to search the Scriptures, they will be able to rightly discern the truth.
Memorization is a valuable tool for implanting God's word within us. It is such a vital tool to hide God's word inside hearts. The psalmist proclaims, "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11). When the temptation comes to do something contrary to biblical teaching our children will have the sword of the Spirit available to defeat the enemy. Isn’t this how Jesus combated Satan? “It is written…” was the answer to each temptation Satan brought before our Lord (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus is our tutor. He has shown us how to live a victorious life here on Earth. When we imitate Him in this matter we will find ourselves winning battles that we never could on our own.
If we can introduce our children to the sure foundation of God’s Word, we will have the confidence that they will never be steered in the wrong direction. After all, Psalm 119:105 instructs, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Let the scriptures be the guiding authority in your life and for your home.
Rev. Dr. Steven Koster