we confess our sin: “Mommy was wrong when she spoke harshly to you. That was not following the way of Jesus who tells us to ‘admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.’ Will you forgive me for sinning against you?” This is a good example. The question we must ask ourselves is not, “Am I a perfect example for my children?” but “Am I an authentic example for my children?”
6. What encouragement can you give to the dad or mom who feels discouraged because their child has been taught all the right things, has memorized all the right verses, and yet still doesn’t seem to be interested in the things of God? Well, channeling Winston Churchill, “Never give up! Never give up!! Never, never, never, never, never, never!” Persevere in prayer. Trust the God of the universe who is working his perfect will and has the power to change hearts in a moment. Humbly submit to God’s right to bring your child to faith using any means he pleases. Keep on teaching winsomely, keep on sharing the work of God in your heart, keep on living authentic, godly lives in front of your children. Show your children that Jesus is your greatest treasure, and don’t give in to discouragement or despair. God is faithful and his ways are right. Hearing is still the means of believing, and prayer is God’s ordained means of promoting his work in the world and in the hearts of man.
7. We typically think of the doctrines of grace as doctrines that one comes to learn about
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later in life, when one is mature and knows a lot about the Bible already. But is there an advantage to teaching these doctrines to children while they are young? How might these doctrines provide a foundation that parents can build upon? For years in our church, my husband and I heard John Piper proclaiming the doctrines of grace in the sanctuary with clarity, depth, and lifetransforming impact, but in our Sunday school classes our children were often being taught only a few basic biblical truths, distorted truth, or sometimes even untruth. When we were placed with the responsibility of children’s ministry we determined that children would learn accurate doctrine and the full counsel of God, which set us off on an unanticipated journey of producing teaching materials now available through Children Desiring God. What we have seen in teaching these truths at a young age is that children more readily accept the “hard truths” than adults because they don’t have the emotional hang-ups that adults have with these truths. At first, these are intellectual issues for children, and they are not colored by their experience.
WE WOULD HEARTILY AGREE WITH OSWALD CHAMBERS’ STATEMENT THAT “PRAYER DOES NOT EQUIP US FOR GREATER WORKS— PRAYER IS THE GREATER WORK.”