Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Training Children To Speak

Psalm 127:4-5, "As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that has his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

Many times we forget the purpose of our parenting, don't we? We plod along from day to day with what has to be done and we don't see the future picture. It is good to come back to the Word of God and be reminded of what we are supposed to be doing.

God talks of our children in the context of war. This life is a battle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. We are raising our children to be warriors for God's kingdom, to know how to face the battle and to stand strong for God.

Recently, I noticed something important in our above Scripture. We are training our children to speak! Did you notice that? We are to raise children who will speak with the enemies in the gates. In Bible times, the gates of the city were more than an entrance way. They were the busiest place in the city. It was here that the elders sat to rule and direct the affairs of the city. It was here the judges and officers judged the daily matters of the people. It was at the gates the soldiers stood sentinel to guard and protect the city.

And this is where God wants our children to speak--in the important places of the city, the state and the nation. He wants us to raise children who will be able to proclaim His truth in the gates--in the high places where decisions and laws are made. We are living in an era where "Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street and equity cannot enter." (Isaiah 59:14-15) In this hour of history, we need to raise children who know more than a few Sunday school stories, but children who understand God's truth, who have discernment and know how to execute justice. We need to raise children who are not afraid to speak God's truth, even in the face of opposition and persecution. The psalmist said, "I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed." (Psalm 119:46) I love the Knox translation which says, "Fearlessly will I talk of thy decrees in the presence of kings, and be never abashed."

Truth is not always easy to make known. People often compromise the truth because they are scared of the repercussions. But we are not raising wimps--we are raising warriors. We are raising children who are not afraid to face the enemy. We need soldiers like C.T. Studd prayed for:

Lord, send us lion-hearted men
With good courageous habits,
Who ne'er will run from the devil's gun
Like hares and bunny rabbits!

Some translations of Psalm 127:5 say, "Contend with the enemies in the gate." Our "arrows" must know how to contend for their faith and the truth.

"How do we train our children to speak?" you may ask. Perhaps Apologetics should be part of every homeschooling curriculum. Our children must learn how to give an answer for the faith that is in them (1 Peter 3:15). Of course, it will be difficult to prepare children to be truth-bearers if we are not heralding the truth ourselves. We must not be afraid to speak God's eternal truths, even when they are counter-culture. The ideologies of our society regarding family are not working. There is so much heartache in marriages and family life. Marriages are continually falling apart. God's way, although different to man's ways are the way to success if we are prepared to be obedient to them. We must not ever be ashamed of the truth. We do not have to be intimidated by our adversaries. We can speak with confidence for we know the way that works!

We should be like the apostle Paul who spoke boldly in the synagogue and in the market place, testifying, reasoning, disputing and persuading people in the truth. The psalmist and Paul both confessed, "I believed, therefore have I spoken." (Psalm 116:10 and 2 Corinthians 4:13) What do you believe? That's what you'll speak about. What are you teaching your children to believe? What is the passion of their heart? That's what they'll speak about. Not clich├ęs, but convictions!

Never forget--silence is surrender, but speaking the truth can change the culture of the nation.

Raise your children to be warriors for the Lord. Raise them to know the truth. Prepare them to speak the truth--anointed, not-giving-in, not-backing-down words--in the market place and in high places.


"Lord, please lift my vision for parenting my children. Help me to train them to know and understand the truth and be filled with zeal and boldness to speak your truth to all they meet. Help me to also be a truth-bearer wherever I go and to never be ashamed of your timeless truths. Amen."


I am raising children to be Truth Bearers.

Further Reference:

Speaking boldly, disputing and persuading:
Read Acts 4:13; 29-31; 9:27, 29; 13:43, 46; 14:3; 17:17; 18:4, 13, 26; 19:8, 26; 28:23; Ephesians 6:18-19; Philippians 1:20; 2 Corinthians 5:11; Proverbs 28:1.

Speaking before kings and rulers:
Psalm 119:46; Proverbs 22:29; Acts 4:8; 24:10-21; 24-27; 26:1-32.

Always ready to speak, even to those who oppose:
Ezekiel 33:8-9; Matthew 10:18-20; 32-33; Colossians 4:6; 2 Timothy 2:25; 4:1-2; 1 Peter 3:15.

Written by Nancy Campbell
To subscribe to her email devotional where I received this article from, click here.


Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Excellent article - thank you for sharing it!

Missionfieldof5 said...

I am striving to try and achieve this at my home. I have a 7,5,3,1, and one on the way :)

I would like to teach the truths that you suggest, I know they know the stories, but I feel I am lacking in the foundations as to the why's of the bible....

Would you suggest something like a study of the Westminster Catechism or something along those lines. I had recently heard about a family devotional that was a catechism study.

I think without the foundations and knowing the truths of the bible, that they will miss the significance of comparing what they hear to the bible and seeking out the truth that is there.

Thank you for your post!
Melissa D. SC

alexis said...

Excellent reminder as to what is my role as mother...thanks for sharing this!

DoleValleyGirl said...

Thank you for this post! I'm teaching a public speaking class to a group of 8 - 12 year olds at our church this year and have been studying the reasons why the subject of speech is an important one for us as Christians, and especially for our children. Lots of good stuff here to share with my students and their parents!

For Missionfieldof5, "Training Hearts Teaching Minds" by Starr Meade is an excellent family devotional study of the Westminster Catechism covering one question per week with a short reading and proof text for each day of the week (Mon. thru Sat.).

silent_librarian said...

Amen! I pray the prayer with you! This message is so crucial in our day where compromise and the hatred for sound doctrine is rampaging. The spirit of the age is raging and you can see it in all arenas of life. What is the Church doing? Absolutely nothing. We aren't discipling one another and we are particularly not raising up children to speak with the enemies in the gate. The Church is going to have to wake up and start standing for Truth and start preparing our children. It is going to be the youth who are going to be facing worse persecution than their parents do today. The times are only going to worsen, not get better. Our children must be prepared to face the adversity that is inevitably coming. Will we leave them unprepared?

Mary @ The Writer's Block said...

What great thoughts!

To Missionfieldof5:
Begin with the Children's Catechism, based on the Westminster Shorter Catechism. It is great for preschoolers. Questions like, Who made you? God. What else did God make? God made all things.

The Shorter can be started around age 6-8. There is a family devotional by Starr Meade based on the catechism (Training Hearts Teaching Minds). Also, Sinclair Ferguson has a series of workbooks (the Big Book of Questions and Answers)that are great for foundations. Big Truths for Little Kids is a story book by Susan Hunt based on the Children's catechism. And visit a friend's website, http://www.reformedmusic.com/. She has put the entire catechism to music and it's a wonderful memory aid!

Teri Lynne said...

My daughter is 9 years old and a 4th grader in public school. In 2nd grade she shared her faith with a little boy who bullied her. In 3rd, she was able to share her testimony with her entire class during her student of the week presentation. And just last week, she used Scripture to show her friend who is a Jehovah's Witness what she believes!

I believe this isn't about adding to a curriculum but rather about living a life in front of our children that models and empowers standing for truth and how to do so with grace, tenderness, and love.

Missionfieldof5 said...

Thank you to all the responses for some extra resources to add to our Library. This is a big help. I only became a Christian 6 years ago and I am constantly working to break the cycle that I went through so that my children DO know about Christ their whole lives and can make the right choices and speak the truth of God's word.
Melissa D. SC

Cherie said...

Absolutely fantastic reminders as our roles in motherhood. This can get lost so easily in the day to day to do lists. Thank you for this most gracious reminder.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. It is so powerful!

Mindy said...

Hi. I was directed here by Sarah Mae and I loved reading this. Thanks for the reminder!!!!

In HIM -

~*~Mrs. Andrew Camp~*~ said...

Thank you Mrs. Fuentes for such a lovely and inspiring blog.

The article you posted "Training Children to Speak" is very true, our world today needs Christians to give them answers, they are skeptical because many of us don't know what the answers are, my husband is very big on apologetics and we discuss many of those hard questions with Papa during our family worship time everyday. That's why we also love Answers in Genesis with Ken Ham and all the people he has on his staff. They have done an excellent job equipping Christians with apologetics and many lives have changed because of it. God's truth is the foundation of all wisdom and knowledge, it's all found in Christ and His teachings.

But, I should add to this another thought as well, one of the stumbling blocks that many unbelievers have is that many times our lives don't reflect godliness and separation from the world. They think, "if they talk like me, dress like me, act like me, have the same goals as me, and have the same problems as me, why should I go to them?" So, we must beware that we are not like the world, we must be separate, different, living Christ like lives. We must be Holy, and give them a reason to trust what we say.

May The Lord bless all of you as we seek to learn more of Him and defend the faith that was once for all delivered to the Saints!


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