I began this series of posts on the topic of “The Best Education for Your Child”. My thesis has been that the best education not only teaches us how to make a living, but how to live. This happens when parents initiate the education, accept responsibility for it and model it in front of the children.
I am referring to educating the heart and conscience of a child. In this arena, the best teacher is the parent and the best time to start teaching is when they are infants. The best text book to impact a child is the Bible, God’s Word.
The Bible provides the moral foundation for all other training. If you teach a child only facts without a moral compass then you are only teaching them to sin more creatively. To educate the mind without educating the spirit results in pain, regret, and destruction.
It is impossible for me to adequately defend my proposition concerning the importance of the Bible in a child’s life in a short post. There is so much to say about this glorious book and here I only offer a few brief thoughts about the Bible, from the Bible.
Adrian Rogers wrote, “People only have three problems – sin, sorrow and death – and the Bible has the answer to all three of them”. How important that we bring God’s truth to bear on the hearts of our children while they are tender and young.
There are three reasons why the Bible is the only textbook that can bring lasting change to our hearts.
First, the Bible is a pure book. Timothy’s mother and grandmother had taught him the Word of God. Paul, writing to Timothy said that “…from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures…” (II Timothy 3:15)
He calls the Bible here, “the holy scriptures”. The modifier for the term “scriptures” is “holy”. The word means “that which is sacred, to set apart for a sacred purpose”. This means that the Bible is like no other book.
The reason the Bible is holy is because of it’s Author, God Himself. It is the only book God ever wrote. We learn of the source of the Bible from II Timothy 3:16 – “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” (II Timothy 3:16)
God Himself inspired the Bible. The word “inspired” in the above verse doesn’t mean merely to become motivated or excited. We speak of a book or poetry inspiring us. That’s not what this means. The Word of God is pure because it is “inspired” of God, not man.
The word means “God-breathed” and refers to a divine influence upon the very words of Scripture. Though there were human authors God used to write the Bible, He was superintending the very words (not just the thoughts or concepts) for them to use. This is what the phrase “inspired of God” means.
God supernaturally guided the words of the human authors so that they were His specific choice of words. This inspiration covers the entire Bible. Again, the Scripture states of itself, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” (II Timothy 3:16) Note that it states that “all scripture” has been inspired of God.
Other verses that support this contention – “…holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”. (II Peter 1:21) God “moved” or directed the writing of the human authors of the Bible to the extent that “every Word of God is pure” (Proverbs 30:5).
No other book is absolutely true, without any error whatsoever. Though it is not a science or history book where it speaks about science and history it is accurate. This means it is trustworthy and is to be the authority for our lives. I can build my life and family on what the Designer of life and the family has written.
As a teenager and college student, many nights I stayed up laboring over term papers. I tried to do well academically. Most parents are jealous over the academics of their children and ought to be. However, often it is at the exclusion of placing academics and grades over the place of God’s Word in the lives of their children.
One of the ways I saw this as a value in our home is that my Mom and Dad never allowed Melanie, Hoss or me to stay home from a church service to work on a school project. Oh, there were many nights when I stayed up in the wee hours trying to pull everything together to meet a deadline the next day, but we were not permitted to do so at the expense of hearing God’s Word at church.
This not only gave me a sense of priorities in our family, but I was under the preaching and teaching of the Bible which was shaping my heart and conscience. If our children learn that the Bible is the most important book in their lives it will be at home by the attitude of their parents toward it.
A second reason the Bible is the most important text for every person is that it is a powerful book. There is no inner transformation apart from the reading and obeying of God’s Word.
“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (II Timothy 3:15)
The Bible teaches that it is possible for a child to put their faith in Christ as Lord and Savior and be born again. This begins not only a relationship with the Lord, but also the ability to be changed at the heart level for the rest of their lives. It is not some religious creed to honor, but a living Savior to know and live for.
Though the Bible is a very interesting book, it was not written to satisfy one’s curiosity. D.L. Moody said, “The Bible wasn’t written to inform you, but to transform you”. I can say that it has been a daily time alone with the Lord in His Word and prayer that has changed my life.
Here are several verses that simply state the incredible power of God’s Word when read, believed and applied in one’s life. As you read them think not only of your own life, but what can happen in the hearts of your children when they are engaged with it. Find the specific results that the Bible brings to one’s life.
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple”. (Psalm 19:7)
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” (I Thessalonians 2:13)
“O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.” (Psalm 119:97-100)
The Bible has power to change your personality (“convert the soul”), make a simple person wise, and give one understanding even more than their enemies or teachers. This is why it is such an important book to build into the mind and heart of your children.
A third reason the Bible is crucial is that it is a profitable book. When we realize something is valuable we are willing to give our time to it. The “counsel of God” is given to us in the Bible and is “profitable” (Acts 29:20, 27).
There are four basic benefits to our children (and us) when we get them involved in reading and applying the Bible. These are clearly seen in the following text from God’s Word.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”. (II Timothy 3:16) The word “profitable” has the idea of advantageous. What are the advantages of building our families around God’s Word?
The Bible is good for “doctrine”. This word means teaching. It informs us where the right path is that we might avoid painful consequences and enjoy the benefits of walking with God.
The Bible is good for “reproof”. This word means to be rebuked. The Scriptures tell us when we have gotten off of God’s path.
The Bible is good for “correction”. This has the idea of repairing and making something straight that has been broken. God’s Word tells us how to get back on the path again.
The Bible is good for “instruction”. This is being educated or trained. God’s truth enables us to stay on the path God has given to us in His book.
I believe that when a person builds his personal life around the Bible that he will not have regrets in his life. The same is true in the lives of our children. Our problems come when we neglect God’s Word.
A great strategy for impacting our children is found in II Timothy 3:14-17. It reveals some simple, but challenging truths as we raise our children. Here they are: the best teacher is the parent; the best time to teach them is when they are infants; the best textbook to teach them from is the Bible.
(May I recommend a resource for parents that have young children that was a great blessing to our family when our kids were young? It’s a devotional book called “Sticky Situations: 365 Devotions for Kids and Families” by Betsy Schmitt. You can get it on Amazon.com).