Proclamation, Invitation, & Warning

 

Fathers: Teach your family the Bible!

There are a lot of areas where I have had failures or weaknesses as a father. One area that the Lord has given me the grace and diligence to be consistent in is teaching my family the Bible. It has been one of the most important things I've done. I haven't gone hunting or fishing or camping with my wife and children as much as I would have liked. I've never taken my family on an official "short term missions" trip. But at least I've taught them the Bible! There are many fathers who have taught more, but I'm just grateful for the times we have gotten together. We have tried to have a family fellowship about once a week over the years. Sometimes it might be more like once a month. 

"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5:25-27

"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

If you're a father, and you haven't tried this yet, I recommend you pick an evening or a weekend morning and get your whole family together with their Bibles. You can start out by asking your wife and each child if there is anything they would like to talk about. Ask each for something they are grateful to the Lord about. Ask if there are any problems they would like to pray about. Ask your little kids what kind of animals they like. Consider singing some songs to the Lord: "Jesus loves me", "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet", "I know that my redeemer lives". Pray together. 

Choose a book of the Bible: maybe Genesis, or Matthew, or Acts, or 1 John. And aim to read about one chapter a meeting. There are many times that my children seem bored. I try to be sensitive to that. On the one hand, I press on and try to encourage them and try to help them pay attention. But also, I may make it a half of a long chapter instead of going and going no matter what. 

Sometimes I have each child, who can read, take part of the chapter and read it. Sometimes, I just read each section and discuss it. As my friend says, if all we did was open the Bible and read it there would be fruit from that, by the grace of God. You, as the Dad, can say a few words about each section to explain it. Also, you can ask your wife and children if they have any questions or comments on a section. It's ok if you can't answer all the questions. No human can answer all the questions about the Bible! But, you can take some of those questions and ask the Lord for wisdom and maybe research them sometime. Another possibility is for you to ask some questions about the passage, some simple, some hard, to get your family to think and discuss. You might have the motivation to prepare ahead of time. But even if you don't, it's far more important to keep getting together as a family anyway!

But keep it simple! The simpler you keep the format, the more likely you are to get together spontaneously or regularly or often. 

The daughter of one of our friends recently was married and had her first child. She commented how grateful she was that her Papa taught them the Bible while they were growing up. Over the years our families got together to read and discuss the Bible, what a blessing of fellowship and being disciples of Jesus together. 

In the latest "Media Spotlight" newsletter (July 2003), Al Dager has an excellent article on "The House Assembly". In this article he writes about how to begin to be the Body of Christ together in homes and he also has good advice for fathers: 

"Do not allow fear from lack of experience or intimidation from those in the [institutional] churches to dissuade you. If you are seeking true biblical fellowship and you can find no one else to join you, start with your own family. Fathers are entrusted by God to teach their wives and children the Word of God. This does not mean all fathers are qualified to be elders in an assembly, but until such come along or the fathers can find a biblical assembly to join up with, they should start with what they have. The fellowship there will be the greatest blessing one can imagine."

I agree that you, as a husband and father, may not be gifted as a Bible teacher, but you are gifted and called as a husband and a father! Our Lord Jesus will help you to open up the Word and read it with your family. Walk by faith and not by sight. Trust God's Holy Spirit to empower you and to bring fruit from your family fellowships. 

I'm available to discuss this further if you would like: please email me.

Spanking in Love - Grateful for our Family - Thy Word is Truth - The Biblical View of Education - Homeschooling

Proclamation, Invitation, & Warning