As a new school year begins, we turn to the basics of a solid education and we make choices about what and how to teach our children. In today’s episode, I am telling you about the 3 R’s you. must teach your children.
I begin with this quote from Charles Spurgeon, which inspired this episode:
“I believe that, at this present time, we are in great danger of being burdened with a crowd of so-called converts who do not really know anything as it ought to be known. They attended a revival meeting, were much excited, and thought they were converted; but just ask them to explain to you the simplest truths of the gospel, and you will soon discover how little they know. Could they explain the three R’s, ruin, redemption, and regeneration? Do they know what the ruin is? Do they know what the remedy for that ruin is? Do they understand at all what it means to be born again? Do they comprehend what the new nature is, or what “justification by faith” means? Perhaps someone says, “They do not comprehend your theological terms.” I do not mind whether they know the meaning of the terms that are familiar to many of us; but do they know the truths themselves? There is a certain degree of Christian knowledge which is absolutely necessary to salvation.” (ca.1860)
Charles H. Spurgeon
Did you read it all the way through? If you skimmed it, go on back and really read it. Substitute the people from the revival for your children and ask yourself if they could explain what he’s talking about.
Could you explain what he’s talking about?
We must teach our children about ruin
When your child disobeys you, lies to you, speaks disrespectfully to you, or dishonors you in some way…what is your reaction?
Do you ever say things like, “I can not believe you did that”; “What in the world is the matter with you?”; or even, “I am so ashamed of you.”
What we should be doing instead is telling our children about the first R, ruin. The Bible tells us in Romans 5:12 that we have all stood in ruin before an Almighty God since the beginning of time.
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-”
Ever since Adam knowingly ate the fruit which his wife gave to him, mankind has stood in ruin before God. So why are we surprised when our children sin? They are sons of Adam just like their parents.
Instead of shaming them, or punishing too harshly, we must teach them the doctrine of original sin. We must teach them what Jeremiah 17:9 says about our own hearts.
“The heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately wicked. Who can understand it?”
Our hearts, and the hearts of our children, are dark, evil, wicked…sick.
We can’t let the sins of our children throw us into a tailspin. We should expect them to sin. We should expect them to do wickedness. They, like we, stand before God in total ruin.
Praise God that He doesn’t leave us there in that state of ruin. He Himself stepped in and offered us the next R…
We must teach our children about redemption
Romans 5:8 says, “But while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Our child’s only hope lies in the redemption that Christ offers. We can’t save them from their sin.
We can cry, beg, plead, threaten, punish, discipline, pray, bribe, and manipulate. But there is only one thing that can move them from ruin to redemption. There is only one method of redemption. They must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
We have to teach them that without the redemption that He offers, we will forever stand in ruin before Him.
So, with every lie; with every act of disobedience; with every single moment of sheer defiance…we must lead our children to the cross. Instead of shame, we offer redemption.
Titus 2:14 – “…who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed…”
Have your children needed redeeming lately from any lawless deeds?
Instead of screaming and shouting at them, we show them the way of redemption. When you feel like you are at the end of your rope, and you just can’t take one more minute…you take them to the cross, and you point them in the direction of redemption.
We can’t just stand by and let our children remain in a state of ruin without showing them the way out. God will hold us responsible for not teaching them about the redemption He offers.
we must teach our children about regeneration
Merriam-Webster defines the word “regeneration” as, “to change radically, and for the better.”
Before we talk about your children being regenerated, let’s talk about Mom. If you are still shouting, screaming, and shaming your child, then your regeneration must come first. As your child witnesses your change for the better, he/she will understand what true change is.
Regeneration happens on a daily basis as we walk with Jesus. Christ offers us moment by moment help. We have to teach our children how to avail themselves of that help. With every act of disobedience, we take the time to teach them a better way.
We teach them how to obey the Word. We read God’s Word to them and with them. We explain it to them because true and lasting change comes from hearing and obeying the Word of God.
We teach them to apply the Word to their own lives, no matter how young they may be. We hold them accountable for their actions, telling them when their behavior displeases the Lord; always, always leading them back to the grace offered at the cross.
And we do this day after day after day. We never give up. Period.
Are you teaching the 3 R’s to your children?
If you have not made these three R’s a part of your child’s teaching, may I encourage you to begin? It is never too late! Begin each day with the Bible. Teach your children what it says, how to obey it, and that God expects us to obey it!
Use those moments of discipline to take your child back to the gospel. I know how hard it is. They misbehave, and we feel angry, frustrated, aggravated. The last thing we want to do is talk about Jesus. That is because we need it just as much as they do.
should you “force” Jesus on your kids?
One last thing…
Don’t be afraid of “forcing” Jesus on your kids. Don’t feel weird about “making” them read His Word.
- Do you force your child to brush his teeth?
- Do you make her take a bath?
- Do you teach them to change their underwear?
So, are you ever afraid that your child will be so traumatized by being forced to change his underwear that he will have an underwear complex when he grows up? Will your child have such a terrible fear of taking a shower that she will never want to shower again?
Yeah, I didn’t think so. Just remember, God’s Word is alive.
Hebrews 4:12 – “For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
As you get His Word into your child’s heart, it will do the work.
But you, Mom, are responsible for getting it in there! Remember Jeremiah 17:9? Instruct your children in the 3 R’s of ruin, redemption, and regeneration, and then let God’s Word do the work of rooting out all that wickedness.