So why teach theology (the study of God and his interaction with man) to our kids? Our kids are exposed to theology every day. If we don’t teach theology, our kids will not be able to discern between good and bad theology or helpful and harmful theological ideas.
Our children live in a theological world. When they wake up and look out their bedroom window, the “skies proclaim” the work of God’s hands. There is theology for them to understand in the wonder of God’s creation. As they groan the start of the day and look for the snooze button because they are too tired to get up, they experience the frailty of man – more theology to consider. When they shout out an angry reply to mom, who is struggling to get them up out of bed, they are reacquainted with their sin and rebellion against God’s commandments. Once again there is theology there to unpack. While they may not be conscious of their heart beating, or their lungs breathing, Christ is sustaining them by the word of his power – more theological connections to life.
All of this takes place in the first ten minutes of their day.
In a world that regularly denies the existence of God, it is very important to help our children see God’s rule and reign over all of life. You can watch six straight hours of television and never hear one reference to God. No prayers, no Bible verses quoted, no sins confessed. Problems are solved apart from God, and nearly every commercial promises joy and happiness from the things of this world. Sin against God is often encouraged and sometimes celebrated.
Then comes school, where our children learn that everything we see in the world evolved out of nothing. Scientific empirical observation provides the only data we can trust. Truth, that deeper philosophical bull work, is relative. That means what is right for me is not necessarily right for you. The Bible no longer carries the day on what marriage is or even what constitutes male and female, for even those are now up for debate.
So why teach theology to our kids? We need to teach our children theology because the world is giving them a theological worldview that contradicts God’s Word. Assuming theology is too challenging a subject for young children is simply giving up ground to the culture with no competition.
Our kids need to hear that God created the world. God created absolute truth, and there is a law that God demands all men submit to. Our kids need to know that we are all lawbreakers who fall under God’s judgment, and we all need of his grace.
Our kids need to regularly hear the gospel hope that God provided a way to forgive our sin through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus, who died in our place and rose again on the third day. Unless they understand that all men and women are sinners – helplessly lost – grace and forgiveness will seem irrelevant to them.
Let’s not let another one of our children grow up without good theology. Bad theology is everywhere, eager to fill the vacuum.