Imagine this with me: You are taking your child to their first day of first grade. You are nervous and excited for them all at the same time. You know they are apprehensive and nervous about meeting new people, while at the same time, they are excited about the grand idea of school. They have watched shows and even daydreamed about it. They have heard stories from their older siblings and friends. They navigate their day and all is well. Until they get to lunch. As they open their lunch box, they realize, Mom and Dad feed me. The child looks around to see if Mom and Dad are there to pick up the food and put it in their mouth. They have no idea what to do. They can swallow the food, but only after the food is placed in their mouth and then prompted on how many “chews they have to do.” As the parent, you are a nervous wreck all day, because you know they are incapable of feeding themselves. They are completely dependent on you to eat.
Now, this sounds extreme when we are talking about food and our children. But this situation can be related to any developmental aspect of our kids' lives like walking, talking, and learning basic motor skills and functions. Yet, when it comes to the spiritual development of our kids, it is easy to not be as intentional. We may let the church do it. It may not be high on our priority list, or it is a priority but gets neglected then placed on the guilt list we keep and judge ourselves by. We can also leave it up to chance and hope they figure it out on there own. You reason with yourself hoping that they will learn it someway and maybe even by your behavior.
Another way we do this is by telling them everything. We lecture God to them. We just explain everything in detail. Now, don’t get me wrong, we need to teach them, but this may not be the same thing as feeding them. Eventually, you want them to learn how to feed themselves. If you are only teaching them, and not also teaching them how to be in the Bible for themselves, you are doing them a great disservice. They will grow up and face temptations and difficult decisions, and will just stare around like they did that day in the lunch room waiting for someone to come and feed them. At that point, they will figure something out. We as parents have to go on the offensive and teach them how to feed on the Word of God each day and be prepared to make the right and God-honoring decisions.
We can not leave it to chance. Someone is feeding your kids. As parents, let's make sure it is us and not the world and our enemy. If that's the case, their diet will be garbage and they will reap garbage in return. Rather, let's sow in them the Word and even a desire to be able to read it themselves, so we can see a beautiful and fruitful harvest in them.