This week has been an exciting week at First Baptist. Each year for over seventy-five years, our church has had Vacation Bible School for older preschoolers and elementary age children to kick off the summer. The only VBS Week that has been canceled in our history was this past summer due to Covid concerns. The decision to cancel last year was a very tough decision and it made for a really long and sad summer.
However, this summer is off to a much better start! Since Monday morning, the church building has been filled to capacity with children and volunteers having a great time. I don’t know of a greater blessing than the sound of children singing praise songs, praying and having a good time learning the Bible together. Often when I’m around children I’m reminded that God doesn’t give a human being any greater trust, any greater responsibility than the shaping of a little person that He made in His image. Our children are, as one author described them, “wet cement.” What they experience with us day after day is writing things in that cement that will mark their lives long after we’re gone.
I’m very grateful for parents who are committed to teaching their children about God and life. I’m grateful for parents who desire for their children to participate in events like Bible School each summer, but I’m even more grateful for parents who are committed to living out their faith consistently before their children. It isn’t enough for your child to hear the truth. He or she needs to see what the truth looks like in your life. You teach them faith by how you handle the storms and the stresses that hit your family. You teach them how to love their neighbor when they see your compassion for hurting people in action. They learn about forgiveness by forgiving them and asking them to forgive you. They learn that lying is wrong when they sense how important telling the truth is in your life. They learn about managing anger when they see you always make things right before your day ends. They learn to love God’s Word when they see your love for God’s Word and your commitment to living it out everyday in your life.
In Deuteronomy 11:13, parents are instructed to “Love the Lord your God and…serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” We need to give our children more than a religion. We need to show them our love, our heart and our devotion to the God who made us and gives us life. God also says in verses 18-19: “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds…teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door frames of your houses…so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land.” In short, live your life in such a way your children see God in their life wherever they turn; a real God that they see in real life situations, everyday!