Preachers usually wish they mentioned something in a sermon after the fact. This past Sunday’s sermon falls into that category for me. If you missed last Sunday’s sermon, you can catch up here. I wish I mentioned two more things to you this past Sunday. Instead, I’ll share the two thoughts here. I want to pass on an additional observation and application.
Observation: Notice that Paul Addresses Children
We camped out in Colossians 3:20-21. Of all the wisdom the Spirit could leave us through Paul on the complex subject matter of family, he leaves us two punchy verses.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
Here’s the observation: I want you to notice that by the mere fact Paul addresses children so directly in his letter, Paul expected children to be present as the church listened to the letter of Scripture being read.
We should not count out the impact and influence of worshiping together with children. Some say that in life much more is “caught” rather than “taught.” I believe that things are both “caught” AND “taught.” I would venture to guess that the apostle thought the same as he assumed children would be listening to his letter of Scripture being read.
Application: Parents, Nurture Conversation with Your Children
What are we to make of the above observation? Parents, don’t underestimate what the Spirit can impress upon your children as they observe you in life and worship and as they listen to Scripture being read and explained.
Furthermore, I want you to notice that Paul exhorts children to “obey.” “Obey” here means to “deeply and attentively listen.” If children are to deeply and attentively listen, it also assumes that there is a healthy conversation going on with parents. The nuance of the word “obey” here assumes that healthy conversation.
Here’s the bottom line application: Parents, Paul is calling us to teach our children about Jesus, the gospel, and the Scriptures in the context of conversation. This is right in line with Moses’ forerunning wisdom in Deuteronomy 6:7:
Impress them (the Scriptures) on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Parents, learn to converse back and forth with your children well. Learn to joke with them, encourage them, correct them graciously. But most of all, learn to converse with them about Jesus, his gospel and the Scriptures.
Grace and peace,