What Will Our Children Remember?
Ernest S. Underwood
Childhood memories are some of the sweetest of our lives – that period of time from birth till we left our home to go out into the world. When a young person leaves home he many times become homesick, and that homesickness has to do with his memories of home life. Dare any of us say that we have had no such experiences? In this article we will explore the subject of what our children will remember, not only about their home life, but about their church life also.
What will our children remember about their home life? Sadly, there are those who will remember a father who was a tyrant, a mother who cared more for the world than she did for her home and family. Some will remember parents who were quite frequently drunk or under the influence of illegal drugs. Some daughters will even have those terrible memories of a father who sexually molested them. Surely, it is hoped that none who read article this will have children who will have such memories of their parents.
However, will our children remember those happy times when the family prayed together? Will that precious daughter and son have that memory of hearing their parents call their name before the throne of God? When they are far away from home, facing the events of everyday life, will they be strengthened by the knowledge that it was the habit at home to have family prayer where each child was mentioned and for which prayer was made, knowing that the rest of the family is still remembering them everyday in prayer? Will our children remember those times when the Bible was read and discussed each day, or at least quite often, as the family either was ready to go forth for the day, or was settling in for the night? Will our children and grandchildren be able to say as it was said of Timothy: “...that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” 2 Tim. 3:15? Or, will our children remember that much more emphasis was put on getting good grades in school, thus preparing themselves to make a living, rather than the emphasis being put on a study of the Scriptures, faithful attendance to all of the services of the church, thus preparing them to be able to withstand the temptations, and to make a life, a life that is prepared to meet God? In short, will our children remember that the church came first in the life of the family, rather than things of a temporal nature?
What will our children remember about the church where they attended? Will they have memories of a group of people who truly loved and appreciated one another, people who had faults, but were doing their best to show forth the Christ in their personal lives? Will they remember that the preacher and the Bible School teachers were students of the Word of God, and presented that message in firmness and in love? Or will them remember church services as a time of “fun and games” where little was taught or learned about the “greatest story ever told.” If, when our children leave home, they are asked why they are members of the church of Christ, will they be able to give a scriptural answer? Will our children be able, after growing up in their local congregation, to know – really know – what the work of the church really is? What will they, in turn, teach their children?
If it is true, and this writer certainly believes that it is, that the church is always only one generation away from apostasy, then shouldn’t it be the desire and goal of every parent and every congregation to implant into the minds of our children those memories that will cause them to have a deep and abiding respect for God, Jesus Christ, and His precious body, the church?
Editors Note: What are children saying now about the church? That is probably a good indication of what their memories will be in fifteen or twenty years. Do your children:
1) Act excited and talk about their Bible classes?
2) Take part in worship? Singing, praying, listening to sermons, etc.?
3) Ask questions and talk about spiritual things at home?
4) Hear positive things about their church family from mom and dad?
5) See that the church/kingdom is the most important thing in your life (Matthew 6:33)?
6) See “daily Christianity” practiced in the home and family?-
7) See mom and dad participating in activities and events other than Sunday and Wednesday night?