Crossroads: Train Up a Child

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Psalm 119:9-16

My Story

I loved going to church as a child. I loved Sunday school, VBS, choir, worship, and everything else I went to. I wanted to be there every time the doors were open. In fact, there was one Sunday morning that I woke up late and ran into the living room to ask my mom why she hadn’t woken me up for church. There had been a blizzard during the night and everything was covered in snow! My mom did a great job of instilling in me a love for God and for church. Learning about God didn’t just end with church, though. She took time to read Bible stories to me, and later on we did devotions together. My mom taught me how to seek God. She helped me learn how to hide God’s Word in my heart, as Psalm 119 says.

Your Story

Did you grow up in church? If so, did you love going? Did your parents teach you how to follow God? What were some ways that you learned God’s Word and which ways helped you remember it? If you did not grow up in church, talk to your family about how you started going to church. How did you discover God? How do you “hide [God’s] word in your heart” now?

The Bible Story

Read Psalm 119:9-16. From The Message: “How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word. I’m single-minded in pursuit of you; don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted. I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt. Be blessed, God; train me in your ways of wise living. I’ll transfer to my lips all the counsel that comes from your mouth; I delight far more in what you tell me about living than in gathering a pile of riches. I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it.”

How can we live as God wants us to? How can the children in our care grow up following God? By reading the Bible. Through the Bible, the Holy Spirit can speak to us and show us how we are to live our lives. The Bible is full of stories of people trying to follow God, waiting for God to speak, and going/doing what they believe God has told them to. Many times they succeed, but sometimes they fail. If we read the Bible and listen for God, God will teach us how to live our lives. In order for children to grow up following God, they must know Him and fall in love with Him. They must know that He is their Creator and their Redeemer, and that He loves them enough to give them the beautiful gift of grace.

Discussion

• Ask your children what their favorite thing is about church—it might be worship, seeing friends, or donuts.
• Talk to your family about your favorite thing about church.
• Discuss ways that you and your family can hide God’s Word in your hearts (memorize Scripture, write it on mirrors with dry erase markers, write Bible verses on index cards and keep them in the car, etc.).

Prayer and Action

• Find ways this week to read more Scripture as a family. If you have young children, focus on the Psalms or the Gospels.
• Thank God for the Bible. Ask God to teach you and your family His ways, as the Psalmist does in Psalm 119. Ask God for help in teaching your children about Him.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

Kevin Head began serving as Minister to Young Families at First Baptist Roswell, Georgia, in February 2012. He has pastored three churches in Kentucky and more recently served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lumberton, North Carolina. In 2007, Kevin and his wife, Amy, began a ministry-based counseling practice called New Perspectives for Life in East Cobb, Georgia. He is a graduate of Furman University (B.A.) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D., M.Div.) in Louisville, Kentucky. Kevin was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Belvedere, South Carolina. His model of ministry is based on John 8 and the amazing, continual grace of Jesus Christ. Kevin and Amy have two children, Jenna and Joshua.

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