Dr. Ware (SBTS) was kind enough to speak in our Parent and Family Discipleship staff meeting this morning. We wanted him to speak on the task of parents and church to teach correct theology to children (see his book Big Truths for Young Hearts). You will get so much more of his specifics as you read that book, but this is a good intro for parents or anyone who works with people of any age (but mostly high school and under).
1. Ephesians 6:1-4 says a lot:
1. Obey your parents (both Mom and Dad)
2. Honor your Father and Mother (both parents)
4. Fathers – all agree that the mother’s role in the parenting process is HUGE, but the main directive and job of the Father is to teach them Spiritual truths. They take the lead. They need help. There is a crisis. Young men need help (especially) but so do older ones who have never done this spiritual leading nor seen it modeled.
2. The flow:
Head. They (children, the ones we teach) must know accurately the Truth of God. They must understand early a corect view God, a correct view of themselves, a correct view of salvation, a correct view of sin, and be able to articulate a biblical worldview. You can’t start with misunderstood truth (which isn’t truth at all). We need to be filling their heads – this helps shape their God concept, their sin concept, their salvation concept, image of God concept.
Heart. But of course, it can’t stay there. Biblical knowledge needs affective output. We are only halfway there if we only know the truth but do not LOVE the truth. Affections are a significant part in relation to the truth that is known. 2 Cor 4.4 says the people are blinded to the glory of Christ. They can know Christ, but not know (love) the glory of Christ. Emotionalism is empty. We want to grasp (and have our kids grasp) the beauty, wisdom, rightness, glory of God in the truth. Affection has to be there, but we can’t produce it. That is a Spirit thing. Maybe that is what we don’t like about it – we can’t control it. It is seeming that we can control behavior. Is that why we lean toward behaviorism in our churches and homes?
Hands. We don’t live out what we don’t love. Think about a dieter who is struggling. We know that obsessive amounts of food is not good for us, but we do it anyway, because we love it (or what it does for us). We can’t go from Head to Hands. The middle part, heart, has to be there. We all go after delight. The truth we know has to become our delight. Pray the Spirit would work in your heart, and in your kids/students lives that they would not only know but love the truth. You are attached (or drawn) to people who are empassioned by what they do.
Habitat. Effect on the environment. In relationships, how will this knowledge, love, and passion change those around us? Moralistic is always there because we can control it. But, the Spirit controls our hearts. It is a work of grace. Grace is something we don’t earn.
I appreciate so much the truths that Dr. Ware shared, his experience raising his two daughters (with his wife, Jodi, of course). I love their family’s model of living what they teach. I love the humility with which he leads and serves and teaches.