“My son, keep my words, And treasure my commands within you….bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 7:1,3
Much time and attention is given to providing school supplies and new clothes to prepare children to go back to school in the fall. How much Spiritual preparation do we give our children to face the many challenges they will undoubtedly encounter?
It seems that many of us are often guilty of waiting until problems arise and then attempting to help children deal with them. Wouldn’t it be wiser to anticipate some of those problems? By doing so, some of the problems might be avoided. There are many issues that might be better dealt with by the child if we could provide knowledge ahead of time.
The memorization of Scripture is one of the best ways to prepare children for today’s challenges. What are those challenges that we need to provide Scripture to counteract? Common problems that will arise are:
1) Choosing the right friends. Many children do not think of “choosing” friends. They feel like they have to act certain ways to get others to choose them as friends.
2) Many textbooks (and some teachers) teach that the world evolved and do not touch on the fact that the world was created by God.
3) Submitting to authority and respecting teachers and others in charge is not always easy.
4) Discipling self to study and do assignments is difficult for most children. Children need to know that the Bible teaches us to study to be approved by God. They need to be taught to do their best. (This includes helping the child understand that they may not always make top grades, but the important thing is to use the abilities God has given them. God created each of us uniquely.)
5) Loving everyone is certainly a challenge. This does not mean that they have to like everything that others do. There is a difference in love and like.
6) Discerning truth from opinion as they read and listen is a skill that will serve a child well for his/her entire life.
7) Displaying good manners will be a challenge. A reminder that all good manners are based on kindness and consideration of others is important.
8) Handling specific situations such as being wrongfully accused, having something stolen, being called names, or being bullied are common things that many children must face.
Churches, as well as parents, can help prepare children in the fall. Of course, this is an ongoing project, but particularly in the fall more emphasis could be given. One way to accomplish this would be for churches to give back-to-school parties for children and end the party with a devotion touching on some of the things mentioned. A good concordance will give many Scripture references to help in getting the desired points instilled.
Let’s not forget to equip our children with needed Spiritual tools as they go back to school. To do so is far more important than a new backpack or lunch pail.