With all the hot topics in our world today, why doesn’t God just tell me plainly what to do in various real-life situations? Consider, for a moment, our current Hot Topic at Flatland Church this week – “Education”. Since we want to know what we as believers are supposed to do, we have to become familiar with what God has revealed to us in His Eternal Word. Proverbs, a wisdom book of the Bible, tells us we should “Bring up a child by teaching him the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn away from it” (22:6 NLV).
This verse is a call to action, not something to be brushed over as we read on to other passages. In this one verse, we’re told what to do about education. Each of us must be active in education. First, we must “bring up” children – making it perfectly clear that we’re not to abandon them to bringing themselves up; hoping that they’ll reason good out by themselves. After all, we wouldn’t leave them on their own to learn to walk, or talk; we’re right there with them, guiding their footsteps and speaking good words to them all day long. We’re actively “teaching” them in each and every encounter.
Now, we know that we have limited control over what worldly influences our children will be exposed to in their lives. Similar to physical germs – they’re going to find them. But, being personally involved in instilling life disciplines including rest, healthy diet, and exercis can help our children stave off physical infections. Similarly, good spiritual nourishment works the same way. We must always be active in teaching and role modeling to our children the message of love. One way to reinforce this is by helping to direct their attention away from the stress of thinking of germs in terms of “good” and “evil”, and into the simple truth that these things have always and will always exist. This helps them to adopt and develop their own personal desire for a healthy lifestyle. Germs can then “bounce off” them instead of attacking them. In the same way, providing for children’s spiritual health can cause faulty teaching to “bounce off” instead of causing spiritual disease. They will not be departed from good spiritual health.
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. 2 Timothy 1:13-14 NIV