I am really saddened when I see so many parents denying their children some sort of religious education. It’s not that the children are clamoring for it, but the point is that religious instruction (whatever your tradition) is an essential part of any child’s upbringing, in my opinion. It doesn’t mean that parents aren’t teaching their children the right values, because many are, but that these children aren’t having those values reinforced outside the home. Aside from parents, all other sources of values aren’t usually what most parents would consider good. Think about it. TV? Violence and sex, even in the so-called family hour. Movies? Sex and violence. Games? More of the same. School? Mixed results, but often not the values some parents agree with. So where do you want your kids learning their morals and ethics?
One lame excuse is that they’ll let their child decide about religion when he or she is old enough. Baloney! So what is that child going to base his or her decision on, having had little or no exposure to any religion? Don’t you want your child to make an informed decision?
Some parents put sports and other activities ahead of church and Sunday school. While playing sports is a worthwhile endeavor, it shouldn’t take priority over God. Some parents put family outings or other events ahead of church and Sunday school. Doing things as a family is great, but why not do something else as a family – come to church? Then go on your outing, blessed by having worshipped God.
I think a lot of the problem is that parents are lazy. They just don’t want to deal with the hassle on Sunday morning, so they give in. It’s that same laziness that is resulting in childhood obesity and other problems. They don’t want to exert their God-given authority over their children, so they let them eat junk. So I guess we’re going to have a next generation of overweight atheists with diabetes. Not a very promising future.
You wonder why society continues to deteriorate, getting ruder and cruder? If children (and adults) aren’t exposed to those transcendent principles found in the Scriptures (of any religion, although I’m thinking mostly of Christianity), then what’s to keep them from degenerating to society’s lowest common denominator? If you are one of those parents who have been staying away from church and not sending your kids to religious education, I implore you to rethink your position. Your child’s future is at stake.
I’ll have more on why worship is important in an upcoming series of posts.