There’s a lie going around among Christian parents that says “You don’t have to talk about your faith. Your children will catch your faith from you.” While we all hope our children ‘catch’ our faith, our faith-motivated actions alone can go unnoticed or be misunderstood by our children. We know the source of every lie, and this one is no different. Jesus said that Satan was “a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44 ESV) It comes as no surprise then that Satan would lie about a parent’s primary responsibilities.
God gave parents the responsibility to train their children in spiritual matters. Deuteronomy 6:7 tells parents “you shall teach (spiritual truths) diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way…” That’s totally different from the silent approach that Satan pushes on us. God not only tells us to speak up constantly about spiritual things, He modeled this truth by being specific and clear about His truths. While Satan wants Christian parents to be silent, God provided us the best example to follow: God taught his children with plenty of direct instruction.
Satan wants to shut you up, so he will make you feel awkward about sharing your faith verbally with others, even your own children. This is especially true among dads. For whatever reason, men often seem hesitant to take the spiritual lead in their families. Maybe it’s a man’s pride that keeps him from speaking. Thinking he needs to be perfect, a man may sense that he is not godly enough to speak about Biblical truth. That may be true, but the answer is not to remain silent. The truth is that none of us is godly in our own strength. We men must set aside our pride, admit our own weakness, and speak out about spiritual things.
If Satan can’t make us silent, he will try to make us ignorant. He keeps many Christians from studying God’s Word by casting doubt on it. Because we don’t fully trust the Bible, we won’t invest the time needed to understand it. But God doesn’t want men, the leaders of families, to remain ignorant. He desires that we study His Word so we can teach it to the next generation. By studying how God led Israel, and how Jesus taught His disciples, we find a perfect model for fathering.
This is the approach I took in writing Parenting Unchained. I looked at two examples that God provides of parenting. God acted as a father to the nation of Israel, and their journey from birth as a nation to their years of rebellion seemed to be a pretty good analogy for parenting. In the New Testament, Christ chose and trained 12 men over three years, preparing them for independent life in a hostile world. Again, this seemed like a good analogy for what parents do. As I studied these two modeling jobs, it became obvious that God was intentional in His training--His parenting. I found ten parenting truths in Scripture, as well as ten deceptions that Satan uses to hide them from us.
Of course, the truths in Scripture work perfectly for moms as well as dads. Where moms must lead in the home, God gives them the strength to do it well. But God designed the home to be led by a loving father, and while the silent type might still work in the movies, godly men need to speak up.