Parents’ Responsibility to Instruct

As we read in Ephesians 6:4, fathers are not only responsible to discipline their children but also expected to instruct them in the Lord. It is not the church’s responsibility to give the child instruction in biblical morality, Christian character, or theology—it is the father’s job. The parents who relegate all the responsibility to the Sunday School teacher to teach their children about God are making a very serious error. God commanded Israel through Moses:

And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up (Deut. 6:6-7, emphasis added).

Christian parents should introduce their children, from an early age, to God, telling them who He is and how much He loves them. Young children should be taught the story of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection. Many children can understand the gospel message by age five or six and can make a decision to serve the Lord. Soon after (by age six or seven, and sometimes even younger), they can receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Of course, no ironclad rules can be laid down because every child is different. The point is that Christian parents should make the spiritual training of their children their highest earthly priority.