Summary: How churches and parents must partner in the spiritual development of children

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“What Every Kid Needs to Know”

August 26, 2007

Me: Kids think they know it all:

“I believe you should live each day as if it is your last, which is why I don’t have any clean laundry because, come on, who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life?”—Age 15

“For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese. Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock. That’s what happens to cheese when you leave it out.”—Age-6

“When I go to heaven, I want to see my grandpa again. But he better have lost the nose hair and the old-man smell.”

--Age 5

You: Do you ever listen to kids, especially your own, and think; “one day you will really understand.”

Although there are many things in life we want to make sure our children know, the most important thing we want them to know is how much God loves them.

“One hundred years from now, all that will matter is someone’s relationship to God.”

Today we want to look at what the Bible has to tell us about what kids really need to know and look at how we as a church can partner with you as parents to drive this point home.

One of the first lessons a Jewish child learns is what is referred to as the Shema. It is a piece of scripture that the nation of Israel learned long ago and it became the driving influence in their culture. They understood that if you stopped teaching this basic principle to your children you were only one generation removed from losing your identity as a nation.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (NIV)

This is the basic driving influence of the Jewish nation, and it should be the bedrock for our relationship to God.

Why is this little teaching so important?

It separates followers of God from other cultures.

It grounds our beliefs.

It is personal and relational.

This foundation supports all the other teachings about who God is and how we relate to him.

So what were you supposed to do with this teaching?

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NIV)

Teach them to our children.

Fill our minds with God’s truth.

Let them guard our homes.

The Shema was given to parents to teach their children. It was not given to the church. There are very few verses in scripture that refer to the church teaching children, but scripture is filled with the concepts of parents teaching their kids.

The primary role of spiritual development in children is to be filled by parents.

The church is to be a supporting partner with parents to train children. We as a church have a very limited amount of influence with your children. However, you as a parent have an incredible influence.

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