The best way to prepare and protect my children from wolves in the church is to do what I need to anyway. I should be helping them seek Christ. I should be giving them and understanding and respect for God’s word. So, what can I do? No matter what church I attend, or how great the teaching is for children, my husband and I can teach them at home. It is actually required of us as parents to train them up in the way they should go.
For us, though we’ve been less than consistent, it means reading scripture to them and discussing it or explaining it as we go along. It means praying with them daily. It means setting up times in their day to study the bible on their own. It means using teachable moments to turn their focus on Christ and what is acceptable behavior. It means asking forgiveness when we’ve wronged them, and modeling grace to them. It means disciplining but also giving mercy when they really deserve the heat at times. It means being the kind of parents God wants us to be.
If there is false teaching in the church, a good sign you’re doing what you are supposed to with your children would be them telling you before you get to point it out to them. That didn’t happen in our case, but once we did begin to ask what was going on that they were uncomfortable with in church, they were able to give very amazing answers. They mentioned the use of entertainment rather than teaching, the lack of depth when the bible story time was given, the behavior of preacher’s kids (funny, this one is a long time issue anyway), the mention of things irregular in prayer etc. Once we started attending a church with expository teaching, our kids were able to say they actually learned more in the last 9 months there than they had at the other church for seven years. They could point to the hymns, scripture reading in Sunday school, and the inclusion of children in the regular service as examples of why they knew more. They also stated that sermons in the former church provided memories of the illustrations, jokes, and stories, but they couldn’t seem to remember the biblical messages. For example, a pastor spoke about transformation in the “Red Zone.” He did quote scripture, but what my kids recall was that he spoke of touchdowns in the end zone. This is years later. They cannot recall anything biblical about that. Now they know they are reading in John and can recall the events recorded and the reasons they are important. Big change.
Best way to protect my children, teach them the bible. Plain and simple.