Summary: What values do we need to impart to our children?
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
A. Please open your Bibles to Genesis 24. In this chapter you’ll find that Abraham is an old man. God has blessed him, giving him wealth & a faithful wife who stood beside him in good times & bad. But now Sarah is dead & Abraham is thinking about his own death & of the legacy he is passing on to his son, Isaac.
They live in a pagan land, & it is very important to Abraham that he pass on to Isaac a legacy of faith & values that Isaac will then pass on to his children as well.
So please turn with me in your Bible to Genesis 24:1-4. It says, “Abraham was now old & well advanced in years, & the Lord had blessed him in every way. He said to the chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, ‘Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven & the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country & my own relatives & get a wife for my son Isaac.’”
Now it was the custom in O.T. times for parents to make the marriage arrangements for their children. And in many parts of the world, India for example, that is still the practice. When you talk to teenagers from India & ask their opinion, they will often say, “Marriage is too important a decision for us to make. And our parents are much wiser than we. So we trust them to make the right decision for us.”
Well, it was time for Isaac to get married, & Abraham wanted him to marry the right girl, one who loved God & was not a pagan or a worshipper of many Gods. So he delegated the responsibility of finding the right wife for Isaac to his most faithful servant. And he sent his servant to find a girl who believed in God to become Isaac’s wife.
Now can you imagine the pressure this servant must have felt? I mean, if you have ever tried to arrange a blind date for someone you know about the pressure. But the pressure of arranging a blind wedding is almost unimaginable.
In vs. 5 the servant asks Abraham, “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?”
It didn’t take Abraham long to think that one over. He answers in vs’s 6-7, “’Make sure that you do not take my son back there,’ Abraham said. ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household & my native land & who spoke to me & promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’’ – He will send His angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.’”
B. Now what I want you to notice is that Abraham is totally committed to God, & he was really concerned that his son would have the kind of wife who would help impart their faith in God & His values on to their children, too.
That responsibility of passing on faith in God & His values is an extremely important part of our family responsibilities today, too.
Now that is not easy for Christians today because our world counteracts much of what we’re trying to teach our children. That makes the words of Deuteronomy 11:18-20 important indeed. Please turn to Deuteronomy 11:18-20 & look at them with me.
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts & minds; tie them as symbols on your hands & bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home & when you walk along the road, when you lie down & when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses & on your gates, so that your days & the days of your children may be many…”
That is something to think about, isn’t it? God is saying, “In everything you do, make sure to saturate your children with my words. Write them on the doorframes & on the walls so that every place they turn they’ll encounter them. Impart the truth of God to your children.”
I. CHRISTIAN VALUES THAT ARE TO BE IMPARTED TO OUR CHILDREN
But if we’re going to do that, what values do we need to impart to our children?
A. Here’s value #1 – “Value God as the source of all things.” The Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens & the earth.” As Christians, we believe that God is the creator of everything – the heavens, the earth, & the universe & everything in it.