How are you doing serving in the mission field under your own roof? For those of us with children, we have a solemn biblical responsibility to evangelize them—“to train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6).
The nature of evangelism in the Christian home is unique. We don’t hold crusades for our children nor do we part ways after the gospel has been proclaimed. We are called to invest our lives into years of relentless discipleship. As God commanded Israel:
These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:6–7)
In his sermon “Crucial Lessons for a Wise Father,” John MacArthur stresses the critical importance Scripture places on training up the next generation in the fear of God. And he points to fathers as those chiefly responsible to teach our children.
John also points out what should be central in our teaching:
In this process of teaching there is one compelling overarching, consummate, summary lesson, and that is that we are to teach them wisdom. The word which dominates the Proverbs is the word wisdom. Sometimes the word instruction appears, sometimes the word understanding appears, sometimes the word discretion appears. But all of those words are simply elements of wisdom . . . to know, to understand, to be instructed, to have discretion means to act in wisdom. Wisdom means not simply thought but conduct. It means to live righteously. We are to teach our sons spiritual wisdom is the noblest and greatest and purest pursuit of their life.
In “Crucial Lessons for a Wise Father,” John sifts the book of Proverbs for the profound wisdom and counsel it contains on the subject of fatherhood—particularly that of a godly father pouring himself into the life of his son.
From those thirty-one chapters, John gleans ten timeless lessons that fathers must pass on to their sons. These include cultivating the fear of God, gaining discernment, controlling the tongue, loving one’s neighbor, and maintaining self-control and sexual purity.
“Crucial Lessons for a Wise Father” explains each of those lessons in careful biblical detail—they are essential and indispensable truths we are to live out and pass on to the next generation. Dereliction of our duty in this endeavor will have disastrous ramifications for the lives of our children and our legacy as fathers.