the theme of this year's conference is "holding fast to the word of truth." tonight, they kicked off the first session with dr. john piper. piper reminded all of us the importance of teaching our kids the truth, that there is absolute truth and that god is the only one who determines that truth.. he pointed out that those who do not know and stand on truth will perish. the bible says we are saved by grace through faith and faith by definition is a perception of truth that we are willing to lay down our lives for. if there is no absolute truth, then there is no faith.
in a time when all truth is "relative," one of the best gifts and blessings we can give our children is to teach the truth (the bible) in such a way that portrays god's glory. so how can we get kids to believe this truth? how do we train them to know that the bible is truth and the bible pertains to all of life and reality? we have to teach the entire bible, cling to what jesus said and teach the children the gospel. and at the same time we have to pray and pray and pray. we have to pray for the spirit to open their eyes and reveal to them the glory of this truth. otherwise it will always appear foolish to them. so we teach and we pray.
this means we have to trust the lord. i think this is why so much children's curriculum out there is moral based or behavior based. we fear not being able to control the spiritual outcome of our children's lives and so we desperately try to change their behavior. and sadly it often appears to work for our compliant children, but later in life we see no fruit. that is because their behavior was changed, but not their heart. we need to pray that the holy spirit would change these little ones hearts and we need teach the bible in such a way that every time we teach could be a time the spirit uses to open the eyes of another child. we much teach jesus, the truth, and our need for it in every story we teach. so portray the bible in simple stories with this prayer, “oh god do this miracle. reveal to them your glory!” and if and when this happens it will have far more significance than compliance to mommy and daddy’s rules.
conclusion for me: i think we do well teaching, but i have got to be praying more for these little ones. my time in prayer for them verses my time spent programming, reveals what my heart believes about who is saving them. ouch.
i am sure dr. piper's message from tonight will soon be posted on desiringgod.org. you should check it out.