If you are a Christian parent then you have a responsibility to “. . . bring your children up in the fear and admonition of God,” (Eph. 6:4). With school, baseball practice, piano recitals, and a hundred other things that fill our weekly calendars, the thought of discipling our own children might seem like just one more thing on our never-ending list to get done. After all, you take your children to Sunday school, right? Isn’t that hour a week enough to train them in the things of God? Taking your children to church is a wonderful thing. It is absolutely part of the process of discipleship. However, God is actually going to hold you as parents responsible for training your children in righteousness as well, and not just the church. This may sound like a daunting task as a parent. I have heard people say, “Where do I even start? I don’t know a lot about the Bible myself.” Rest assured, if this is you then you are not alone. This is a common position for many parents that I have dealt with over the years, but I would like to give you a helpful tool that can aid you in this wonderful process.
One of the ways parents have taught their children about scripture throughout church history is by a process known as catechizing. Don’t let this word scare you if you don’t know what it means. It is simply a method of memorization. It is a form of question and answers, used for the instruction of Christians. The church has produced many of these different catechisms throughout the years. We find this way of teaching all through scripture (Exodus 13:8-9, Deuteronomy 4:9). It is especially good for young child to learn, since they have such a great mental capacity at this age. It is amazing to see how quickly my 4 and 5 year old children memorize these great truths of God; often before I even have them down. They may not have the full understanding of what the answers mean, but we are trusting that in time the Lord awakens them to these great realities.
Below, I have attached a link to what I believe is a great catechism for you and your family to get started with. It was written for young children, but as a parent, it even helps me to have very precise answers without having to memorize entire paragraphs to explain what I believe. My encouragement for you is to print off 10 of these questions at a time. Decide, as a family, to memorize one a week. It is easy while at breakfast or dinner to go over the questions. Build upon them each week. Ask the old questions, as you are leaning a new one. If you do this, within a year’s time, you and you children can know more than 50 great doctrines of the Bible. It will take less than 5 minutes a day to do, but the wealth of knowing these truths is invaluable. If we can teach our children to hit a ball, or set a table, we can certainly teach them (and ourselves simultaneously) great truths of God in bite-sized and digestible chunks.
I hope you will consider using this resource with your children in the coming weeks. You may be surprised how much they can learn in a short amount of time. There are many wonderful catechisms out there, but I believe this is the best one to get started with. God bless!
Soli Deo Gloria,
Adam B. Burrell