Firm Foundation

The alarm didn’t ring at the set time.  The previous morning the alarm rang at 5:30 a.m.   Yet, rather than my planned time of 5:30 a.m. I woke a few minutes past six to find the alarm was now set for 10:30 a.m.  In God’s providence that morning I slept in for a few more minutes.  It made life hectic, but also in God’s providence, all the tasks for the day were completed.

Life is full of seemingly small insignificant things.  The alarm clock fails to ring.  Or perhaps it rings too early.  Your shoelace breaks.  The car doesn’t start.   Sometimes it is easy to see God’s hand in the small insignificant things, like when you’re in a hurry and you are seemingly unnecessarily delayed a few minutes and you miss the twenty car pile up a minute in front of you.  Other times, it’s hard to see God’s hand working, but God is working.

The writer of Proverbs 30 observed God’s creation around him.   He noticed the small things in this world; ants, the rock badger, locusts, and lizards.  As he looked at these small seemingly insignificant creatures he noticed the wisdom of the Creator.  The writer demonstrates how we should teach our children about the world around us.  He takes notice of the small things and sees the hand of the great Creator showing us His wisdom through the small insignificant things. 

As parents, we can look at the small things in life and grumble about them.  Our neighbor eats steak while we have beans.  They have a nicer house, car, etc. than us.  Envy grips us.  However, the writer of Proverbs teaches us that all things in this world need to be looked at with an eye informed by Scripture.  Rather than coveting steak, he thanks God for the beans.  The Psalmist declared to us that God’s word molded his understanding of the world.  “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light” (Psalm 36:9).  

Because each of us are “formed in sin,” we don’t naturally look at things from a biblical perspective. This is where we, as parents, have to help our children see the hand of God in things around us.  We don’t want our children to simply look at the world around us and adopt its culture, we want them to look at the world about them informed by the lens of Scripture.  

Most Christian parents really desire to give their children a good education.  Some choose to place their children in elite private schools.   Some parents fret about finding the perfect curriculum to give their children the best education possible.  Some parents spend a lot of time calculating class schedules and studying college catalogs in order to give their child an edge.  Others concentrate on a “classical” education to give their children a superior education.   These efforts alone, however, won’t produce a home with a Christian culture.  Charles Bridges described it this way:

To expand, without soundly enlightening, the mind [in the word of God], is but to increase its power for evil. Far better to consign it to total ignorance, inasmuch as the uninstructed savage is less responsible, less dangerous, than the well-furnished infidel. (Rev. Charles Bridges 1850, 97)

As parents, we need to impart more than just conservative economic, social, and political beliefs. It takes parents modeling a devout Christian faith to teach a child to view the world through the lens of faith.  The Psalmist declared:

Psalm 78:4-8, NIV, “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep His commands”

Recently the headlines in the Christian Examiner read:  “Parental faith, not homeschooling, indicative of homeschoolers’ religion, analyst says.”  The article went on to state that the most important factor in developing faith in a child is the parent’s personal devotional life.  The faithful devotion of both parents to Christ is the one critical factor.  The second is that this devotion must be delivered in a loving home. 

Our children are observing the small, insignificant things in life.  Are you showing your children that grumbling, envy, and complaining are the way to live?  Or are we as parents showing them the hand of God in these things?  Are we speaking about what God has done for us? Are we speaking of how we came to Christ?  Are we recalling the great things Christ has done for us?

Let us provide a firm foundation for our children’s education, the solid foundation of God’s Word lived out in our lives.