Nothing is more important to parenting than presenting the gospel to our children. Speaking the words of life, urging them to receive the salvation provided by Jesus, should be our top priority. In order to do this first priority, we also need to regularly introduce the doctrine of creation into their worldview as well. Unfortunately, the doctrine of creation is more often assumed in our parenting. It can be assumed when we discipline our children for their disobedience. It can be assumed when we urge them to believe in the Lord Jesus. It can be assumed when we warn them of God’s judgement. My appeal is that this foundational doctrine no longer be assumed, but discussed consistently.
Our children will grow up in a post-Enlightenment, post Darwinian world–where supernatural reality is laughable and ultimate purpose is ludicrous. They will breath in the atmosphere of pragmatic, functional atheism every day of their lives and will be encouraged and applauded toward self-determinism and finding their motive for living “within.” However, the doctrine of creation frees us from the endless task of “finding ourselves” and of “searching for our purpose.” Our identity and our purpose is not something we find; its not something we create. It has already been given to us.
“God created all things. God created me.” This is the foundation of our existence and should be the bedrock of our parenting. My life direction and purpose has already been established. As a created being I am owned by my Creator, my purpose is established by him, and my boundaries are placed by his hands. All that I am meant to be has been defined by someone outside of me and my success or failure in fulfilling my destiny is evaluated by the person who decreed my destiny in the first place. To seek to “find myself”–if that means to create my own plan for my life–or to “find my purpose in life”–if that means to search for a direction that seems fulfilling to me–is to start the discussion in the wrong place. These are not decisions for me to make; they have already been made by my Creator. (Now, I am not erasing the necessity of decision making in the particulars of our calling–who we marry, what job we take, where we go to school, etc. I know that God hasn’t spelled out every detail in his Word. My concern is whether the discussion begins with what he has spelled out–that our purpose is found in him since we belong to him.)
The reason this is so crucial in parenting is that if we only apply the implications of creation, while our children live in the world of subjectivism, all of our parenting will eventually seem groundless. Here’s what I mean:
If our children are not certain that God created all things, whey should they believe the Bible?
If our children are not certain that God made them, why should they have to obey Him?
If our children are not certain that they belong to God, why should their disobedience matter?
If our children are not certain that God will evaluate what he created, why should they seek his salvation?
Why be fearful of a God who doesn’t own you, desperate for a God who didn’t make you?
If we are going to accomplish our first priority of preaching the gospel to our children, we must also present the reality and implications of creation to them. Otherwise, our gospel will just be one more subjective fairytale that they may or may not choose to believe.