I heard a seminary professor say last week, in a discussion on the family integrated church, that he is not sure that all men are qualified to teach their children the Bible. I guess I can thank God that I wasn’t sipping a cup of coffee at that time because I probably would have spewed it all over the four professors and the seminary dean who were sitting at the table.
The man had good intentions, he really did. And to give him the benefit of the doubt, he was wondering about teaching our children the deeper truths of theology and asking who is qualified to do that. Nonetheless, it only takes a cursory glance at Scripture, starting with the Deuteronomy 6 passage, to know that it is the father whom God has called to teach his children the Word. And as the saying goes, whomever God calls, God will also equip. The question is not, “Is Dad qualified to teach his own children the Bible?” The question is, “Will he obey the clear command of Scripture?” Paul said it plainly: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4)
As to the professor’s point that some men may not be qualified to teach their children the finer or the deeper points of doctrine, I would have just one word for those fathers: “Study.” There have been many times in 26 years of teaching my children that I have been asked questions about God or His Word that I could not answer…at the time. It forced me to the Word and to prayer. There are still many things that I do not understand about the Word and our awesome God, and though I continue to study and grow in faith, there is much I will never understand until we see Him face to face. But the main things are the plain things and there is no father out there who “cannot” learn the plain things of God’s Word and teach them to his children. We must, men. We cannot abdicate. We cannot look to the “trained professionals” to do what only we can do. That does not diminish the role of the pastor and the elders. It enhances their ministry if the fathers in the church are teaching their children to love God and His Word!
4 thoughts on “Are men qualified to teach their children?”
I would also add that if a father takes this seriously he may very well be surprised to find that his children will ask questions that will take him deeper into God’s word as well.
I will never forget the night that our family was enjoying our bedtime reading, and as it happened we were reading from our four-year-old’s “starter Bible” in the book of Luke about Jesus and the ten lepers.
As the passage goes, Jesus heals the ten lepers but only one returns to thank Jesus…and Jesus asks “Where are the other nine?”
Our daughter asked me: “Jesus knows everything, right?”
….”Yes honey, even what’s in our hearts.”
….”Then why did Jesus ask where the other nine were? Didn’t he know already?”
And so we had the opportunity to discuss various ways of teaching and educating… metaphors, and analogies… rhetorical questions that are designed more to provoke one into seeking and discovering deeper understanding than simply answering the question on it’s surface by applying the clear lessons and commands that we have already been given.
I will continue to make mistakes, but if there is one thing I get right, I want it to be making provision for my daughter to have a clear understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I certainly don’t have all the answers for my daughter, but I can sure teach her where to find them… and lead her, by example, into the word of God.
Amen, Jon. Great reply.
great word! thanks for sharing it and challenging fathers. and i love your closing thought!
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