Overcome Obstacles to Instruction

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Overcome Obstacles to Instruction

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It's clear from many scriptures that God places a high priority on parents teaching their children His truth regularly and in a deliberate manner. But, as with so many other areas of our lives, we may find there are obstacles that hinder our intent to fulfill this duty. What are some of these obstacles, and how can we overcome them? • One obstacle most of us face is that "there's just no time to fit it in!" Yes, often there's not enough time in the day to do all we need to do. Both parents and children can be pulled in too many directions with the demands of work, school, homework, after-school activities, recreation, family commitments and all the other things that we have to fit into our schedules. However, if providing our children with regular instruction from God's Word is a priority, we must and will find the time. What could be more important? Paul's statement in Ephesians 5:15-16 certainly applies: "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." We must use our time effectively. Spiritual priorities must not be neglected. Many families find that having a family Bible study works best at the start of the day before other activities and distractions can crowd it out. Others have found a way to have regular study time with their children in the evening. Whatever the case, every family should schedule the time that works best for them—whether morning, afternoon or evening. The important point is that sufficient time should be allotted for spiritual instruction. • Another obstacle that might come to mind is the thought that "my children won't understand the Bible anyway." It's a serious error to assume our children cannot understand the Bible. God commanded all parents of His nation Israel to teach their children about Him and His laws. The expectation is obvious that they could understand. God referred to the nation of Israel as a "congregation" and He calls His Church "the Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16). There are clear parallels between God's expectations for those He called out of Egypt and the "Israel of God" today. We must remember the tremendous significance of our children's spiritual destiny. They are given the same invitation to pursue God's truth and receive the Holy Spirit that their parents are given (Acts 2:38-39). It is true that they may choose not to pursue a spiritual calling immediately. If any of our children choose not to embrace God's truth, let it not be because we didn't diligently teach it to them as they were growing up. Notice what the apostle Paul told the Corinthian brethren: "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean [i.e., 'common,' or no different than other children in the world], but now they are holy" (1 Corinthians 7:14). Our children can learn God's truth. • Another obstacle might be a worry that "my children might find it boring." The reality is that some children find almost any activity other than play, leisure or time with friends boring. Mathematics, history or science classes may be boring to some students, but we would not excuse them from the class for that reason. Parents and teachers know the subject matter will be beneficial to them in the long run, and so we expect them to listen to the material and learn it. Studying the Bible may not always be exciting, but there are always intriguing ways to make it more interesting and more easily retained. • A final obstacle might be that we feel that "I'm not a good teacher; I wouldn't know where to start or how to do it." Like it or not, every parent is a teacher. Every day we teach our children lessons by the choices they see us make. For example: –They see what values we hold important. –They see how sincere we are about learning and keeping God's ways. –They see how important God's Word is to us. –They see how important prayer to God is to us. –They see how much we care about them and their future. We are already teaching our children every day. Let's make sure that we are properly teaching them the precious truths God wants and expects us to pass on to them. GN