Scripture in the Home

The Basis of Faith

All of creation, the natural world, reveals in an obvious way that there is a God (Psa 19:1-6). It teaches us that God is eternal, that he is all-powerful, and that we must answer to him as God (Rom 1:20). Unfortunately, we do not naturally accept these obvious conclusions. Rather than believe, we work hard to prevent this truth from influencing our hearts (Rom 1:18). We produce all kinds of alternative explanations instead.

But even when a person acknowledges God as the creator and judge of all things, he remains only partially informed. He needs more truth about God and his ways than the natural world can provide (Psa 19:7-14). You see, the general, artistic revelation of God through the natural world makes it possible to believe that there is a God who exists, which is necessary to believe. But the special, verbal revelation of God through the Scripture makes it possible to believe in God as Savior. So, viewing the created world provides the entryway and the doormat to an eternal relationship with God, but hearing the inspired Word of God opens the door to go inside. That’s why Paul tells us that faith comes through hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:25).

Viewing the created world provides the entryway and the doormat to an eternal relationship with God, but hearing the inspired Word of God opens the door to go inside.

From a Child

Since hearing the Word of God from Scripture is necessary for personal salvation, then your child or children need to hear the Word of God for themselves. But where should this exposure take place and when should it begin? To answer these questions, you should consider the example of the man in the New Testament named Timothy. Notice what Paul says about his exposure to Scripture.

First, he knew about Scripture “from childhood” (2 Tim 3:15). The word childhood (brephos) refers to the earliest stages of childhood, as young as infancy, which indicates that the earlier you expose your children to the Word of God, the better. Some parents sing and play Scripture songs and quote Bible verses to their child before birth, while others begin doing this soon after their child is born. Both approaches demonstrate a serious and legitimate application of what Paul says about Timothy.

The earlier you expose your children to the Word of God, the better.

To describe this process of exposure, Paul uses two additional words, learn and be assured. The first (manthano) refers to taking in information through teaching, study, and reflection, whether formally or informally. The second (pistoo) refers to becoming personally convinced about the truthfulness of what you are learning.

But next, where does this process of exposure, learning, and persuasion take place? Certainly at church, but is that all? Paul reveals to us that Timothy received this exposure through his relatives at home (2 Tim 1:5). This detail underscores the vital importance of parents providing diligent biblical instruction for their children at home through daily conversations, both formally and informally (Deut 6:6-9). But does Scripture influence make a difference in broken homes?

Even in a Split or Single-Parent Home

You may be surprised to learn that Timothy did not have a functioning Christian (or Jewish) father (Acts 16:1). His father was Greek, and was either unbelieving at the least or deceased at the most. By naming Timothy’s grandmother and mother as his spiritual influences in the home, Paul seems to underscore this deficiency (1 Tim 1:5).

Many Christian parents find themselves in a similar position, raising children without a regenerate father or mother. Though a godly set of parents, father and mother, is a crucial element in God’s original design for raising children, God’s grace and the Scriptures are more than able to overcome this deficiency.

From the earliest days of Timothy’s life, his mother and grandmother deliberately emphasized Scripture as the preeminent influence in their home (2 Tim 3:15). This decision was neither a creative solution nor an emergency stopgap measure. It was loving parental obedience to God’s sacred, timeless charge (Deut 6:6-9). They did not dip the flag because their home and community were disjointed. They lovingly obeyed God, teaching Timothy to fear God and respond to his divine authority through the Scriptures.

The Dusty Family Bible

Whatever your home situation, placing a large, illustrated Bible in your living room to gather dust will never persuade your children to acknowledge God and turn to him for personal salvation. You must embrace your parental obligation to teach your children the words of God.

You must embrace your parental obligation to teach your children the words of God.

Recite the Bible and sing it to them when they are infants. Help them memorize verses as young children. Give them an illustrated picture Bible early in their development. Gather your family together for family devotions before bed each night and share something from your personal devotions. Teach your children to have their own quiet time with God each day and ask them what they learned from that. And of course, talk about the Bible throughout the day and answer your child’s questions from a biblical point of view. The more your child or children hear of God’s Word, the more they will make sense of the natural world around them, and the more likely it will be that they will place their trust in Jesus Christ as Savior.

Review Questions

  1. How deliberate have you been at making the words of Scripture a primary influence in your home and family life?
  2. What are some ways that you can more consistently teach your child or children from the Bible?
  3. How can your family put into practice what you have learned from this lesson?
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