Wednesday, April 19, 2006

For the Children Too

I have never noticed this before, but it was in front of my face the entire time. In Ephesians 6:1 Paul says, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." Did you catch that? This verse assumes that the children were among the rest of the congregation when the letter was being read. Not only does it assume that they were present, but that they were listening. This is astounding in our culture where most don't expect children to be able to sit down and listen for more than 5 minutes. Yet, apparently, Paul fully expected that the children would be listening to the entire letter; so, he addresses them also. He isn't talking about children, he is talking to children. (this also occurs in Colossians 3:20)

Remember, Ephesians (and neither is Colossians) is not a lightweight book and I doubt they used puppets to read it to the children. Nor did they take a break from reading the epistle, call the children down front, and do an object lesson. It is sad how far our church culture has strayed from the historic church and its expectations for children. They were expected to know by heart lengthy catechisms and, in the early church, to listen to the entirety of Paul's letters. It is time the American church raises the bar in its expectations for children and their knowledge of the Word of God.

7 comments:

Christy said...

Hey Jonathan! Great point! I can't wait to share this with Nathan. I love reading Lori's blog each day and keeping up with you guys. Have a great day!
Christy

Ginnie said...

Great point! It's first and foremost the parent's responsibility then the church. It's easily done by taking your young child into worship service instead of the nursery or sending them to children's church. Also, by studying God's Word with them at home. Too many times parents pass this responsibility on to other brothers and sisters in Christ instead of doing it themselves.

Lori said...

Preach it baby!!! Sorry, I get really excited when you discuss things that I feel so strongly about! Haha! :)

Lori said...

I feel the need to qualify that the previous comment (by Lori) was made by Jonathan's wife . . . just in case someone who doesn't know our family is reading this blog post.

justin said...

Great insight.

Anonymous said...

One point that I would like to expand on is that parents are responsible for their children in all teachings. The schools, churchs, and other organizations are great places to support the parental teachings. The parents need to be both responible and accountible for their eduction of the children. They should not blame the school or a brother(sister) in Chirst if their child fails to meet their expectations. Parents should also practice what they preach. The bar should be raised on the parents!

I do commend any and all church workers that are willing to give freely of their time to work with the children and the adults alike. I am sure no one meant to knock the concepts of the children's church or other teachings mentioned. As far as children's churches or similiar youth groups, I believe they all have there place in God's plan for our children. If the method of dancing puppets inspires a young one to move closer to the LORD then all was worth it! To the volunteers, I give a big round of applause for their serving the Lord in the capactity that fits their abilities.

Steven Drummond said...

Good point my man... I have never thought about that verse like that. Sometimes expectations and reality can become blurred. People expect little of themselves and others around them including children when in fact God expects our utmost. Drummond