Updated: Dec 7, 2021
17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”
Genesis 18:17-19 (English Standard Version)
I was once at a one-year-old's birthday party. One of the children walked away from a pile of toys. The child's mother grabbed his hand and brought him back to the pile of toys. With his little hand in hers, they put the toys away together. As a mom to a young child myself, I questioned her about getting such a small child to put things away. She told me that we should be teaching our young kids now on how to do things. That a one-year old was old enough to be able to do some cleaning up after himself. At first, I thought that was silly, expecting so much from a little child. Now, though, I can really see the merit in this type of thinking. All of our children, currently ages 11 to 5 years old, have responsibilities in getting themselves clean and designated parts of the house clean. As parents, we want our children to grow up knowing how to take care of themselves. We know we will not always be here with our children, and it does no good to do everything for someone else.
Besides teaching our kids to clean up after themselves (that is an ongoing lesson!), we also teach our children about God, and what He wants from us. We tell them what Jesus did for us on the cross. We teach them about how to behave around others, and how to treat people who are not nice to them. We are parents who make mistakes. We are Christians who sin everyday. We are in no way perfect, but we know the One who is perfect and we want our children to know Him too. As our children get older, they gain more responsibility from us. We expect more from them, yet we also allow them to do more things outside of our view. If we teach them now, they may continue to do the right things and love the Lord.