I have heard Church members discussing how much their children really get out of attending Sabbath services and holy days over the years. Often they will proudly state what their 3-year-old has said or commented on. I want to ask parents a question. How much do your children pick up from sermons?
Yes, children often comment on some minor point of a sermon. However, do not make the mistake of assuming that they are learning major lessons. We dare not assume anything. We all need to know what they are learning, as their future depends upon it. Our children are sanctified—set apart and holy. God says so: “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy” (1 Corinthians 7:14).
I have heard parents say that their children have been to services since they were born, therefore they know a great deal and will not leave! Do not be so sure. You may be surprised at what your children do not know. If parents do not teach and reinforce what is being taught at Sabbath services, it will not stay with them.
God gave us a clear instruction. Deuteronomy 4:9-10 says, “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.” God wants us to teach our children history as well, and the meaning of the holy days.
We must of course be balanced in our approach; some have “turned off” their children by taking a harsh approach in leading God’s way (e.g. “If you do not do what I say, you will end up in the Tribulation”). Trying to scare children into submission will never succeed. God is a God of love, and a parent represents God. There is a right and a wrong way to teach. Pray for direction as a parent in this area.
Take the time to have a fun family quiz. Ask 10 questions and see what answers you get. You may be surprised what your children do not know. Do not blame them if they do not know—you can only blame yourself.
Make this a fun quiz and you will soon determine your children’s level of understanding. The score your children get is really a grading for you on your level of teaching. Of course, age is a factor—you may want to make up some other questions for younger children. This quiz should easily be answered by those between the ages of 8 and 10 years and up.
The last article I wrote was on children and giving. Giving them a solid foundation so God can call them is also a responsibility. As parents we must think on these things.
10 Question Starter Quiz
1. List the seven annual feasts of God in order. (See Leviticus 23)
2. List the Ten Commandments in order. (See Exodus 20 or Deuteronomy 5)
3. Who was Jacob’s grandfather? (Abraham)
4. Which one of Jacob’s sons was sold into slavery? (Joseph)
5. List the first five books of the Bible. (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy)
6. List the first five books of the New Testament. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts)
7. Name one significant event that took place on the first Passover. (Death angel passed over, firstborn slain, Passover lamb killed)
8. Name one significant event that took place on Passover during the New Testament. (Christ crucified, Passover symbols changed to bread and wine, foot washing ceremony)
9. What does it mean to “afflict your soul”? (To fast, or humble yourself through fasting)
10. What does the Last Great Day picture? (The time when everyone who has ever lived and never had an opportunity to know the truth will have a chance for salvation)