By Dr. Glen Schultz
We are pleased to have Dr. Schultz as our guest blogger today.
Ravi Zacharias was speaking at a recent prayer conference. During his presentation he made a profound statement that we must give careful thought to today. Ravi said,
The ultimate test of any civilization lies in what they did with their children.
He went on to say, we are living in precarious times when our children are longing for answers in truth. There is very little you actually own. You are always protecting it for the next generation. Our children are the future and we must give them the truth, transferred with love. We need to let these words sink deep into our hearts and minds.
Zacharias understands that what our children are longing for more than anything else is not found in more stuff. They are longing for answers to life’s big questions. And they want those answers to be grounded in truth. When I heard this, my mind went to Hosea 4:6. Here God said that His people were destroyed for lack of knowledge. In other words, no one was teaching the people truth. When that happens, our children seek truth someplace else.
The world will quickly fill the void and give them what it says is truth. Of course, the world’s concept of truth is always in direct opposition to God’s Word. The result is always the same. God went on to say that when truth is not taught, the law of God is forgotten or ignored (Hosea 4:6b). This means that God’s people were not obeying God’s Word. This shouldn’t surprise us. If we are not taught truth, then how can we know truth? If we don’t know truth, how can we obey truth?
I challenge you to think about all the “things” that parents give their children today. It blows my mind what the average child has today. They have the latest fashions, good food, their own bedrooms (something I never had until I got out of college), and the latest gadgets. I see kids wearing Converse sneakers and they think that they are really in style. I still remember when the only basketball shoe one could buy was Converse and the only colors were white and black.
If we go back to Ravi’s statement, the things we give our children sometimes are things that we think they need to have and then we protect it for the next generation. However, are we giving them and protecting for them the most important things?
In one of Christian Overman’s blogs, he quotes Allan Bloom. Bloom was not a Christian but he was a wise person and understood the powerful influence the Bible had on American culture from the time our country was founded. In his 1987 book, The Closing of the American Mind, Bloom diagnosed the real problem with parents today. He wrote,
And fathers and mothers have lost the idea that the highest aspiration they might have for their children is for them to be wise—as priests, prophets or philosophers are wise.
The author went on to explain that parents think that what is most important is to give their children a good education so that they can get a good job and be “successful.” But in doing so, we have forsaken what may be the most important thing we can give our children that will protect their future. Bloom wrote:
Specialized competence and success are all that they [parents] can imagine. Contrary to what is commonly thought, without the book [Bible] even the idea of the whole is lost.
Again, we must go back to Zacharias’ statement quoted above. He said that we must give them truth. Whether you are a parent, church leader or educator, the greatest thing you can give a young person is truth. But, without the Bible as the source and foundation for truth, truth cannot be known or given. This means that we cannot keep giving our children a secular education because it denies God’s Word as the source of truth. I agree with what Cal Thomas once said. Without the Bible, it isn’t education!
I want to close with a statement by Dr. Tony Evans, pastor of the great Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. As you read his statement, please do not apply it just to parents. I believe his challenge is for all Christians. God expects us to give the most valuable gift there is to our children but we cannot give what we don’t possess ourselves.
Children have a very spiritual reason for their existence…[Parents] are to transfer a theo-centric, God-centered worldview; that’s why He said raise them in the Lord [Ephesians 6:4]. Let the glasses they wear, we call that a worldview, a lens through which you view life, be constructed by the parents as they have gotten it from the Lord. But if parents haven’t gotten anything, they can’t give anything. We are to transfer to them what we have gotten from the Lord.
A final thought from Hosea 4:6. It says that if we continue to forget (ignore) God’s law (by not teaching our children truth and obeying His Word), then God will forget (ignore) our children!
It is frightening to think that the next generation might suffer like this because of our acts of unfaithfulness. What kind of world are we giving our children?
Dr. Schultz has been a teacher, coach, high school principal and superintendent during his tenure in Christian schools. Dr. Schultz just completed 9 years as an associate pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church and Headmaster of Sherwood Christian Academy. Prior to this, Glen directed the Christian school work at LifeWay Christian Resources. He also served as the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Southeast Regional Director.
Glen is the author of Kingdom Education: God’s Plan for Educating Future Generations and several parenting booklets including A Parent’s Greatest Joy, Home Invasion, Shepherding and 20/20 Vision. He has conducted seminars throughout the United States and several foreign countries. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Schultz is the founder and director of Kingdom Education Ministries.
He received MEd and EdD at the University of Virginia. He has been married to his wife, Sharon, for 45 years and has three children and six grandchildren