Lessons To Teach Children
By Kim Butts
1. Teach them to quickly recognize the presence of sin in their lives. It is rare this day and age to find anyone willing to admit their sins. Children need to know that nothing we do which saddens God and grieves the Holy Spirit, is acceptable in His sight – even if it is a very small thing. However, they must also learn about the Lord’s loving forgiveness and willingness to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
2. Teach them carefully about the need for confession and repentance of sin. Once sin is recognized, it must be dealt with. Children should be taught that they must confess their sins to God as soon as they are aware they have been committed. This sin-sensitivity will be so valuable to them as they grow. Learning to grieve over our sins as God does is a good concept to teach. If it makes God sad, then it should make us sad as well. It should make us sorry enough to repent and try to do better next time. Teach your children to keep short accounts with God.
3. Teach children to recognize and deal with idols. All of God’s children need to realize that nothing can take first place over our relationship with our Heavenly Father. If God has a rival for our heart’s affection, our mind’s attention, or our life’s devotion, then changes must be made. For young people, idols can be developed in hobbies, recreation, leisure time, friends, family, jobs, or even involvement in ministry at the church. They need to be taught that whatever competes for God’s attention in our lives must be recognized quickly and given lesser importance. Encourage children to make some lifestyle changes which will lessen the influence of these activities or individuals upon their lives, allowing Christ to be FIRST.
4. Teach children to earnestly seek after the heart of God. Children should learn to spend time with God in His Word. This will allow them to have a firm grasp on God’s will for their lives, as well as for the lives of those people and situations they pray for. It will also help them to pray according to God’s heart.
5. Teach children to develop a lifestyle of praise. God desires our praise. Children naturally love to praise God. It is only as we get older and become self-conscious that we hold back from any form of expressive praise in public prayer. Young people must recognize that without God we are hopeless and helpless, and with God we are filled with hope and are victorious. A lifestyle of praise from the lips of repentant, humble children honors God, and opens the door for His deeper work in their lives.
– Adapted from "Preparing The Next Generation For Revival."