POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

What to go over with a twelve year old...

Fathers, to arms!!! This post over at Girl Talk is a great insight into the kind of devotional one can live with and for your children. This is a discussion from one of CJ Mahaney's daughters as to how her Father is walking with Chad - the twelve year old boy of the family. This quote is insightful:

As Dad puts it, his primary goal with Chad--apart from helping him develop a disciplined habit of meeting with God--is to provide him with cross-centered content that equips him to discern and weaken sin, grow in godliness, and apply truth to his life.

Dad opens their times in prayer, and they conclude by taking turns praying: for God's help to apply the material and specific requests to God on each other's behalf. "I think it's important for Chad to hear me pray and benefit from my prayers," Dad says. "Spurgeon was deeply affected by hearing his mother pray and I want to be an example for my son." Dad also likes to hear Chad pray as it gives him an opportunity to evaluate his heart. In addition to prayer, Dad leads Chad in a discussion, but their times don't merely include instruction. Dad also seeks to model humility by informing Chad of his own sin, and how he is seeking to attack it, and grow in godliness. In addition to daily Scripture reading, Dad and Chad have covered a variety of topics over the past six months, using sound theological materials, and beginning with portions from Knowing God by J.I. Packer and The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul.
It is awesome to see an encouragement to walk with your kids in such a manner. I know many Christians who never have read such meat - and this with a 12 year old. I say it all depends what we start our kids on. What sort of stuff we read will make an impression on them. If we want to them to have fluffy Christianity that blows in the winds of the slightest suffering we ought to say "they are young, they will think this is boring, they won't find it fun to ask hard questions, to wrestle with theology, handle well teh Scriptures, or read sturdy books" And such they will be. Yet, it is such a refreshing thing to see, a twelve your old reading Knowing God. Fathers, call them up, love them, laugh with them, spend the time to plant the truth deeply in tiny souls. Though my efforts ultimately depend on the gracious work of God in the life of my kids, Mahaney's example calls me to press on, excel still more, bring them up in the fear and instruction of the Lord. My four year old has a special "theology library" we have started on a small book shelf. It is a special library - one that has her Catechism, the ABCs of God, Four Volumes of Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers , and her ESV Children's Bible. She knows that this is a special shelf, one where the books will be added slowly and intentionally. I pray some day it will be full. Full of all manner of depth and joy and grace and truth and practical wisdom found from drinking from fountains that are deep. Parents, yes even the guys, Girl Talk is a good place to visit... ...