Children's Check List

“The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother” (Proverbs 29:15).
My sister’s pretty smart. This characteristic runs in the family. She and her husband have raised three good, Christian children. Recently she wrote down a suggested checklist for the spiritual things children should know. It is not a legalistic system as much as it is a parental plan for continual growth.
By age 4 they should know the books of the Bible. Read to them from a good children’s Bible storybook, and fix in their mind every major Bible character. “Explain that these are not fairy tales,” she says, “but are God’s stories, and true.”
By age 8 they should know the 12 sons of Jacob and the 12 apostles. Make a chronological chart, and show them where each character fits in relation to the Bible story as a whole. Have them look up the sermon text on Sunday, and write down the number of times the preacher uses key words.
By age 12 they should begin to develop a daily Bible reading habit. Even if they read only a few verses, this can be the beginning of a lifetime habit. “Ask them periodically if they are doing it,” she says. “After all, we ask them how they are doing in school subjects. How much more is there a need to ask about this important area?”
During the teen years they should begin to study doctrinal subjects and discuss ideas. Use the book of Proverbs to help in the struggle with attitudes such as anger, lust, and laziness. Read good articles, books, and inspirational biographies with them. “Help them see that the walk with Christ is a growing one,” she says. “Be a listener, don’t jump on them if they express doubts or questions.” Use the phrase, “Let’s see what God’s word says.” “Pray, pray pray.”
Roll the dice in Monopoly, if you must, but don’t leave your kid’s spiritual development to chance.

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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One thought on “Children's Check List

  1. They say the secret of
    2nd generation CHRISTIAN
    CHILDREN IN INDIA who
    honor and live for the
    Lord Jesus Christ is …
    that the parents daily
    spend time IN THE WORD OF
    GOD and prayer and singing of hymns.
    AMERICANS including myself cry because our
    adult children are not living for Him. The adult
    kids do have a choose and
    are not carbon copies of
    us but we are so busy working, working, working
    that we forget to follow the INDIAN SECRET of daily prayer, Bible reading and hymn singing.
    GOOD FOR OUR BROTHERS AND
    SISTERS IN INDIA
    Perhaps somehow we can
    try to copy their precious example.
    We get so busy earning a living and I do not
    how else to do it that we fail in this
    aspect of Christian home life.
    We knew the “secret” but often are not able
    to follow what is right. FAMILY PRAYER AND
    BIBLE READING is so important.

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