Monday, July 09, 2007

Family Driven Faith - Chapter 5 – Teach the Word at Home

Family Driven Faith now begins to move towards how we affect our families faith and that begins with teaching the Word at Home. If any of you have heard Voddie speak before you know he is passionate about how easily Christians, I would add especially in the west, have abdicated their responsibility of raising their children. This is not just in the area of academics but even in the area of teaching concerning spiritual matters. We have gained a mentality that says only trained professionals should be about the business of training. This is not saying we do not learn anything from those God has gifted as teachers as obviously we do and as Voddie says he would not write this book if one was not to be taught by anyone but their parents. What he is getting at is that parents are “ultimately responsible and accountable” for the training of their children.

We can send them off to youth group and children’s church 7 days a week and at the end of the day we are responsible even if we are not involved. While not much is said of history in this chapter it is interesting that it is only a relatively new phenomenon to have youth leaders and children’s ministers who are somehow viewed as more equipped to deal with the issues that parents are called by God to deal with. But before I digress I better get back to the book.

The chapter keeps coming back to drive home the point that we as parents were not given children, yes God has given us the children we have, without equipping us to teach them and this does not mean having others do so for us. Scripture does not speak anywhere of having others train our children but speaks of it as our responsibility and a look at the landscape says we have lost sight of this. In tying together his previous chapter that dealt with having/teaching a biblical worldview Voddie says:

If giving our children a biblical worldview is the why of family driven faith, giving them biblical instruction is the what. Our worldview shapes the way we think, but learning and memorizing the Scriptures determine what we think.

In a section entitled, Home Training Basics Voddie deals with “Reading the Bible” and Q & A.” Under the section on Reading the Bible he allows scripture to speak first as to the importance of reading the Word to our families as first the “Bible is our source of wisdom” (Psalm 37:30-31), then the “Bible is our source of righteousness” (Psalm 119:11) and then the “Bible is our source of Hope” (Romans 15:4). He then gives other reasons for the reading of God’s word to our families as important, such as: It is the “very Word of God” (2 Tim 3:16), It is “God’s Primary tool in preparing us for a life of godliness and service” (2 Tim 3:17 and 2 Peter 1:3), it is “ an agent by which God conforms us to the very image of Christ” (1 Peter 1:4), and lastly “the Bible is a change agent” (Hebrews 4:12). In this section Voddie also deals with raising children that ask questions and then gives some good advice on how to answer and how to lead our children to get answers.

In this chapter Voddie also deals with the subject of books and what part they play in the life of raising children as while the Bible is to be our primary source we can use others writings to show how God has worked throughout history and in others lives. This is one place that may be hard for some in today’s age of microwave satisfaction as reading takes time and often patience but the benefits are great.

Voddie ends the chapter by reminding the reader that “Home training Takes Commitment, Time and Effort.” This is not a process that has a magic potion or as he puts it:

“There is no magic bullet when it comes to raising godly children. There is, however, a detailed road map. The Bible gives us everything we need in order to get the job done right.”

This is a chapter that not only starts to put things into practical use but it is probably the chapter where toes start to get stepped on as the actions Voddie is proposing are very contrary ot our culture and going against culture is often very difficult. The greatest reason this can be difficult is that we have all too often assimilated the culture into our biblical worldview and thus it becomes hard to differentiate between a biblical mandate and a cultural norm.

Next, Chapter 6 – Live the Word at Home

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