“Fathers and mothers are the most natural agents for God to use in the salvation of their children. I am sure that, in my early youth, no teaching ever had such an impression upon my mind as the instruction of my mother—neither can I conceive that to any child there can be one who will have such influence over the young heart as the mother who has so tenderly cared for her offspring.
We should especially tell our children our own experience … Perhaps, my friend, there is no testimony that you can bear which will be so useful, so interesting and so striking, as the testimony of what you have, yourself, seen and handled of the Word of Life. Tell the Gospel as you find it in the Bible, but set it in the frame of your own experience of its preciousness!
Tell your son how you sinned and how the Lord had mercy upon you. Tell him how He met with you, how you were brought to seek His face, how you were born again, how you received a new heart and a right spirit. He will think the more of this great change because it happened to his father, or to his mother, or to some kind friend.
And, perhaps, if he is not himself converted as a child, in his later life he may think of what you told him or the remembrance of his mother’s God may rise before him when he is far away from the scenes of his youth and has spent many years in foolish vanities—and he may even then turn to God, beckoned back to the great Father’s House above by the memory of his godly father and mother here below.” (Brought Out to be Brought In, Sermon No. 2511, Charles Spurgeon, August 6, 1886)
“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. (Deut. 6:4-7)
Ahh. Rich words from Spurgeon. Ones I need to hear over and over again — that the “remembrance of his mother’s God may rise before him …” — words of calming assurance to this mother’s heart as I yearn for my children to know and follow the Lord.
And yes, even richer words from our Father. Words given by Him — through both Moses and Spurgeon — meant to instruct and admonish, guide and encourage as we teach and parent in our need.
Whether we’re being “some kind friend” to children in our spheres of influence, or teaching our own, we must not take lightly our Lord’s admonition to speak again and again of His ways and works. We must speak of His commands, and the mercy and forgiveness we ourselves have experienced from Him.
May the words first heard, and the words often repeated into our children’s ever-maturing ears, be of His extravagant goodness toward us.
Painting: Meditation, by Elizabeth Nourse, 1903