We want the best for our kids spiritually, but are we forgetting what that is in the midst of all our church activities and stacks of kid-friendly devotional books?
I heard something in church this morning which I felt really ought to be shared. It was both challenging and encouraging, and as we can have blindspots without realizing it, I hope that you find it to be a helpful reminder as well.
We are making our way through the book of Hebrews, and this morning we arrived at a very well known verse. Are you familiar with the verse about God’s word being living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword? Chances are good that you have heard it many, many times.
The thing about well-known verses, though, is that they often lose part of their impact the more familiar we are with them. We accept the words as truth without stopping to consider all the implications for our day to day lives.
This morning was like most other Sunday mornings. I wrangled with my toddler and handed books to my preschooler, reminded my older children to sit up in their seats and to stand when everyone else stood. And even in the midst of the near constant division of my attention, God still fed me from His word and left me refreshed.
(I could go off on a tangent here, but I will just say that I am always amazed and thankful that even in the harder seasons of keeping our kids in church with us, God is still faithful to provide the spiritual nourishment I need.)
I listened as our pastor shared about Martin Luther and the spiritual reformation that took place in the 1500’s. I wrote down Luther’s words in my notebook:
I did nothing; the word did everything…
Encouraging, but still not yet the point that would press into my mind. I kept listening, taking notes with sloppy handwriting, and occasionally bending down to retrieve a small toy.
Then our pastor shared a quote from R.C. Sproul which gave both the verse and the sermon fresh meaning and a very real application I could take home with me and mull over for days and years to come. I sat up a little straighter and listened.
I think the greatest weakness in the church today is that almost no one believes that God invests His power in the Bible. Everyone is looking for power in a program, in a methodology, in a technique, in anything and everything but that in which God has placed it—His Word. He alone has the power to change lives for eternity, and that power is focused on the Scriptures.
Do you see what R.C. Sproul is saying here? When we emphasize programs and pragmatics and resources above the Bible, we are in effect saying that those are the things that will change lives. However, if we truly believe that God speaks through His word, that He uses His word to accomplish His purposes, then that is where we will primarily focus our attention!
We need to let God’s word do His work.
Fellow mamas, we may not be leading churches, but we are daily ministering to our own small flocks. And that is what I was reminded of today.
You see, I want my children to know God, to love Him, and to be set free from the penalty of sin. I’m guessing that if you are still reading this post, you want the same thing for your children.
But, with the best of intentions, we often rely too much on the “extra” things. We think if we have the right devotionals, if we put our kids in the right church activities, if we do this or that, then we are doing the most important thing. It is a subtle slide until there is so much extra that we barely have time for what is essential.
Mamas, do you want to know what is the greatest, most significant thing you can do for your children?
Teach them the word of God.
That’s it! The other stuff is extra. Not bad, but not primary.
Let your children hear the word of God regularly. Put them in the way of good teaching. Memorize scripture together. Listen to it in music.
Let God’s word do His work.
All the other things can be helpful and fun, and there’s nothing wrong with them. But I hope that you are encouraged as I am to remember that the means of grace are simple. We don’t have to keep up with the newest trends or change methods as our kids get older. It’s been constant for more than two thousand years.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Let’s start the week out remembering to keep things simple.
Read the Bible. Aloud. Often. Together.
Let God’s word do His work.
Other posts you may find helpful:
You can also find our church’s series on Hebrews here. I have been very encouraged by this series!