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!