"So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields." Matthew 9:38
Today is the first day of school for many parents, students, and teachers. Boys and girls are filled with a nervous excitement to see old friends and as well as new ones. Teachers wait with anticipation to meet their new students. And parents will experience a wide range of emotions. But a new school year comes with a heavy responsibility, especially for parents and teachers. It is my prayer that we all choose to go above and beyond the norm for the sake of the Gospel.
“Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like their teacher.” Luke 6:40.
I pray that our teachers would point everything back to Jesus.
“No matter if you eat, or drink, or do whatever; do all things to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31.
In this society we live in where many of our schools teach more of a secular humanism or moralistic deism concept of the world, teachers who would set themselves apart from the rest for the sake of the Gospel are greatly needed. I pray that our teachers would choose to be that city on a hill, separate from what is the norm, as to point our kids to the light of the world.
“You are the light of the world, a city on a hill top that cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14.
I thank God for the many teachers who are molding our children for a brighter future. Teachers I pray that as you teach, you yourself are constantly being taught, fed, and nourished by God’s precious Word in your own lives. Because what you feed yourself will be an overflow into those whom you teach. And the impact you will have upon our children is eternal, because again, no student is greater than his teacher, but the student who is fully trained will become like their teacher.
Now the folly in our culture can be for the parents to place this heavy responsibility fully and totally upon the school systems. However, for a parent to depend more on the school system to train up their children rather than to place most of this mantle upon themselves is not only foolish, but it is un-biblical. Speaking of parents duties in training their children in the ways of the world, Deuteronomy says;
“You shall teach them to your children, talking with them as you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 11:19.
Deuteronomy points out that we are to constantly use every opportunity to point all things back to Christ. It is important that we engage our children daily as to what they are learning in school, so that we may use these conversations as opportunities to show them that everything points back to God.
Fathers, we have the largest portion of responsibilities. It is not primarily our wives job nor is it the school systems job to see that our children are being trained for the future, it is ours as men. This is especially true pertaining to parents who have boys. We have four boys. And it is my job as their father to teach them all things. It is my privilege to mold my boys, and to teach them how to become men. Again, this is not my wife’s job to shepherd our sons into manhood, it is mine. In the same way, mothers have the great privilege of teaching their girls how to become women of God, while fathers teach their daughters how ladies are to be discipled and led, beginning with their mother. Because again, a student will become like their teacher.
Men, as leaders of our house, I cannot stress how very important it is to have a time of family worship daily. If we are not making an effort to make God priority in our families, then we should not be surprise when our children do not see God as priority in their lives. Its very easy to deceive ourselves into thinking there is no time, yet we make time for other things. After school and work, we make time for team sports for our kids, television, and lounging around after a long day. It is a matter of making a decision and following through with it. If you are new to family worship or have never done something like this, here are some tips in how to implement this into your family routines:
1. Family Worship Must Be Born Out of Conviction
As parents, you must be convicted this is something you need. Without this conviction, you will be unable to follow through with the following steps. Pray that God would burden your heart for your family to know Jesus not just on Sundays, but in a real daily relationship. Lead them.
2. Family Worship Begins With the Head of the House
Wives, do not demand that your husband start doing family worship. It needs to come from him. Instead, begin by asking, not demanding, if he would pray with you at night for your family. Then begin to pray that God would open his eyes to the beauty of Christ and for him to see his great need for the Gospel.
3. Family Worship Must Be Simple
There is no need to stress or over complicate family worship. Begin by singing a praise song that everyone knows. It can be as simple as Jesus loves me. Choose something that the children will enjoy. One of the songs we love in our house is “My God is So BIg.” You can find hand motions online as well. Then simply begin to read from Gods word. With our kids being young, we use “The Jesus Storybook” to read from. The stories are short with pictures and easy for younger ones to understand. Not only does this book present stories of the Bible, but it teaches basic Biblical doctrines to our kids and points everything in each story back to Jesus. After the story we usually talk and ask the boys questions pertaining to what we read. Then we will go around and let everyone pray in closing. Another great book for teaching is The Shorter Catechism. Our family worship usually ranges from 5-15 minutes depending on how interactive the boys are on any given night. Again, keep it simple.
4. Family Worship is Mandatory
There will be days when toys and TV are going to fight for your child’s affections when its time for family worship. You must make this as mandatory as doing their homework. Eventually, family worship will become an expected, even cherished part of their day. But as it is with anything, in order to create a lasting routine, you must stick with it, especially in the beginning. Put it on your schedule just as you would baskeball practice, TV time, or anything else.
5. Family Worship Must Be Participatory
Family worship is not meant to be a preaching session. Invite your family to participate. Allow your family to sing, discuss, ask questions, pray, and read scripture. This will not only draw your family closer to God, but closer to one another as well.
Again I thank God for the many great teachers in our world. Kings and Presidents do not have as an important job as you do. For the weight of eternity hangs upon your every word. I pray that we as parents would partner along side school teachers in grooming our kids for the future, that mothers would be models of pray and Gospel proclamation in their homes, and that fathers would emulate THE GREAT teacher Christ Jesus, as they are compelled to shepard their families after our Lord. Because every student will become like his teacher.