The Importance of Catechizing Our Children
One essential way of rearing our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4) so that they can hide the truth of God in their hearts is by the old tried and proven means of catechizing. Here are four arguments for faithfully catechizing our small children and youth.
First, catechizing is good pedagogy. Modern educational theory looks askance on rote learning, but our children must have data with which to think. True, not every catechized child will remember it all in adulthood. However, rote memory of Scripture and catechism early in life becomes the intellectual and spiritual building material of a strong Christian life. Princeton theologian and New Testament scholar J. Gresham Machen credited his lifelong love for and commitment to the Reformed faith to learning the Bible and catechism on Sunday afternoons at his mother’s knee. Machen might not have understood the significance of learning the catechism and the kings of Israel by rote at ten years of age, but the fruit of his mother’s tender instruction helped provide the church with an extraordinarily faithful and devout defender of the faith.