16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17 Then the LORD’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you. 18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. There is some truth in that saying. For example, raising children takes place in social contexts.
But “the village” is not responsible for raising a child. Raising children tenderly in the fear and wisdom of the Lord is the primary responsibility of Christian parents . Take Proverbs 1:8 and 9, for example: “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” Or he apostle Paul addressing children and parents, and in particular fathers: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right…Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
Tomorrow, we begin a lunchtime course aimed at supporting parents in their God given responsibilities: Parenting Children for a Life of Faith.
Tomorrow, we also begin our new children’s programme, Kids Kingdom, as part of our Sunday morning Celebration. It’ll include teaching, activities and worship, as a single group and then in smaller ones. It will be an active high-impact programme for children to enjoy.
Take a moment to pray for these new programmes, that they will be used by the Holy Spirit to bring children closer to God, each other and be attractive to their friends. And pray to for our children’s ministry team as they make their final preparations.