God is missing!

There were two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who always got into trouble. The parents were at their wit’s end as to what to do about their sons’ mischievous behavior. So, out of desperation, they decided to bring them to their pastor. He has a reputation of being a disciplinarian.

The 8-year-old boy went in first. The pastor sat the boy down and, looking at him straight in the eye, asked him firmly, “Where is God?” The boy looked down and did not respond. So the pastor repeated the question in an even sterner tone, “Where is God?” Again the boy did not answer. So the pastor raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face, “WHERE IS GOD?”

At that the boy bolted from the pastor’s office and ran directly home. He hid himself in the closet, slamming the door behind him. His older brother ran after him into the closet and asked, “What happened?” The younger brother nervously replied, “We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it!!” (Adapted from Bits and Pieces by The Biblical Studies Foundation)

There is, I believe, a better way of discipling kids. The Bible says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) In The Message paraphrase it says, “Point your kids in the right direction—when they’re old they won’t be lost.”

Let me clarify though that this is not “meant… as an absolute promise that would apply in every case. These maxims [in Proverbs] are meant to be good, sound, helpful advice; they are not presented as surefire promises of infallible success.” (Gleason Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties) That is, even godly parents produce ungodly children. Growing up in church or in a Christian family is not a fool-proof guarantee that kids will grow the right way

Yet, let me emphasize that having our kids in Sunday school will increase their chances of growing up to be the person God intended them to be. I believe the Sunday school will only complement but will never be a substitute for discipline at home. That’s why we see it as a partnership between the parents and the church. The Sunday school team will teach the kids what it takes to be a committed follower of the Lord. But I challenge us parents to model in our lives that kind of commitment for our kids.

My take? Let us train up our kids together.


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