Teaching Your Children to Stand on the Firm Foundation

By Amber Pike


Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

Satan doesn’t wait until you’re an adult to start trying to lead you away from God. Statistically, nearly 85 percent of people in the US accept Christ before they turn 18.(1) As exciting as this is, we also know that nearly two-thirds of young people are walking away from the faith.(1)


Satan is on the prowl for the hearts of our children. Just like he did in the garden, he deceives and lies, trying to lead believers astray. Ephesians 6 warns us of his schemes. If children accept Christ as their Lord and Savior, Satan will be trying his best to get them to reject God instead.


Our children’s eternity is at stake. What can we do about this attack on our children? We have to teach them to stand.


Make Sure Your Church Is Standing on the Word

Church is where we go to learn about God. As a parent, you should feel confident in sending your child to the children’s ministry program, knowing they are being taught the truth about God and who He is. But that’s not always the case.


Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, many churches are not teaching children as they should. Some churches don’t stand on the authority of God’s Word or teach the Bible as truth.


In Matthew 7:15, we are told to “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” False prophets and the distortion of God’s Word are in the church; you need to be watching.


However, false teachings aren’t the only danger inside the church. First and foremost, the church needs to stand on the authority of the Word of God, but they also need to be teaching children how to stand.


Teach God’s Word as Truth


Children need more than Bible stories, moralistic lessons, or a collection of random, disjointed Bible lessons to help them develop life-long authentic faith in Jesus. Children need to be taught God’s one story (the story of His redemptive love for all of creation) and how to stand on the authority of God’s Word.


When the Bible is taught as one true story, showing God as the central figure, you are helping to build a firm foundation in their lives. You are helping them develop a biblical worldview in their hearts and minds. If we train our children to look to God and the Bible for the answers in every area of their thinking, they can withstand the raging storms of life.


Stop and do a quick evaluation of your church.


Does your church stand on the Word of God as the ultimate authority? Does it only teach Bible lessons and morals to children, or are they teaching children how to walk in a relationship with Christ? Are your children being trained that God is the source of truth in their lives? They need to be!


Statistics show that 40 percent of adults who no longer attend church started having doubts about God’s Word in middle school.1 Satan starts whispering lies early on, not just when children’s brains have moved to an abstract level of thinking and they’ve begun thinking for themselves. Satan is even attacking toddlers and preschoolers!


Teaching Bible stories and telling children to be good little boys and girls isn’t enough. They need to be taught doctrine. Show them what the Christian faith is all about and how to live it. Even young preschoolers are capable of being taught bite-sized pieces of theology.


Teach children about:

  • who God is

  • how God created the world

  • the trinity

  • that Jesus is the only way to heaven

  • how we know the Bible is true


If our children are going to stay in the faith, they need to know what they believe, why they believe it, and how to defend it (apologetics). How do we know that God is the only true God? Why is Jesus the only way to heaven? In 1 Peter 3:15, Christians are told to be ready to give that defense. If we’ve just told kids to believe in God and make good choices, we’ve not given them the tools they need to know that God’s Word is truth.


Ask If It’s Enough


As a parent, your goal is to see your children walking with the Lord, not because they feel like they are supposed to, all of their friends are doing it, or because you’ve told them to. You want to see your children walking with the Lord for life because they want to be in a genuine relationship with Him.


There is no guarantee this will happen. There are no magic books or programs that will ensure your child becomes a lifelong follower of Christ. But you also can’t just hope for the best. You have to be intentional.


Don’t just assume that your church is teaching your children correctly. Find out what lessons the children’s ministry is teaching. Read the take-home papers and emails. Make sure your church is standing on and teaching from the authority of God’s Word.


Having a church that is raising disciples is great, but it’s not enough. It is not the church’s job to train your child; it’s yours. In Deuteronomy 6, God gives the commands to moms and dads to shepherd their children, teach them how to stand, and pass on their faith.


While the church is an amazing way to help children (and adults) grow in their faith, it is not the shepherd. You are, Mom and Dad. It’s your responsibility to show your children Jesus.


Give children the tools they need to build a firm foundation in their lives. Teach them to stand on the authority of God’s Word. Show them how to live as a follower of Christ and what it means to be in a relationship with Him (through your example and teaching).


This means that Sunday shouldn’t be the only time your family cracks open a Bible. Make the Word of God a priority in your life and the life of your family. Lead your family regularly in prayer and study. Make the Bible the foundation of your family.


The battle for your child’s heart rages. Satan will be whispering his lies that God isn’t worth following. Just hoping your child is strong enough to stand isn’t enough. Intentionally show them Jesus every day by teaching them to stand firm and not be shaken.


 

Amber Pike is the editor of KidzMatter Magazine, an author, children’s minister, and momma whose passion is to see kids loving the Word of God and walking with Him. Amber is the author of Exploring the Bible Through History, The Family Cookbook Devotional, and Top 50 Ordinary People in God’s Extraordinary Plan. Visit her website at amberpike.org.


ENDNOTES

1. George Barna and Bill Hybels (foreward), Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions: Why Children Should Be Your Church’s #1 Priority (Baker Books, 2016).