I am of the firm belief that making sure that my kids are without excuse with regards to special revelation, is the most important aspect of my parenting of them. What I mean by “special revelation” is: that which God has revealed about Himself through His Word, the Bible. It’s different than “general revelation”: that which God has revealed about Himself through His creation.
Not everyone is exposed to special revelation regarding God, but everyone gets general revelation about Him…
Romans 1:18-22 (ESV)
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools…”
This is what scripture says about all such people a few verses later…
Romans 1:25 (ESV)
“…they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”
If you think about it, I could just teach my kids to be respectful, instill in them a great work ethic, go to all of their games and performances building their self-esteem, make sure that we have dinner together every night as a family in order to teach them family values, train them to be good stewards of their possessions, the list goes on and on. But, if I neglect to expose them to the Bible and what it says about Jesus Christ, what good is all of that other stuff? What then do I actually give my kids, if I fail to provide the message of Christ, as given to us in scripture from Genesis to Revelation? Is it enough to teach and reinforce the things I listed, yet neglect to instill in them the Word of God?
The Old Covenant
In the Old Covenant, Moses wrote to the Israelites about the importance of giving special revelation to their children…
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (ESV)
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
The New Covenant
In the New Covenant, parenting is to be a similar endeavor…
Ephesians 6:4 (ESV)
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
As parents, we can probably avoid provoking our children to anger without exposing them to special revelation. However, we certainly cannot “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord,” unless we “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
It ought to be our #1 priority.
When Paul mentored Timothy, he constantly reminded him to reflect on what he had been exposed to as he grew up…
2 Timothy 3:14-15 (ESV)
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
We (Christians) must also provide such things for our children, so that they might have the same opportunity. Parenting 101 is making sure that our children are acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make them wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Is there anything greater which we parents could possibly provide?
Godspeed, to the brethren!