The Lord has ordained the family—not the school system, not the state—to be the institution where children are to be trained in the knowledge of God. Today, R.C. Sproul addresses the significant responsibilities of Christian parents.
We live in this culture that seeks to have institutions meet our personal responsibilities. We want the public school system to take care of us educationally. And when I see the scriptural view of culture and the world, the cardinal unit of society as God has ordained it is the family. And when we look at the Shema in Deuteronomy, the call, the scary call, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God . . . is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all of your . . . might and all of your strength and all of your soul,” and so on, which Jesus identifies as the Great Commandment. When our Lord says there are commandments and then there’s the Great Commandment, we need to give great attention and great weight to it. And if you look at that passage in Deuteronomy 6, most of us read the Shema and stop right after the declaration of the Great Commandment.
And if we read on, then you have the program: “And you shall teach this to your children. You shall speak about this when you rise up, when you go to sleep. You write it on your forehead, you put it on your hands and over the doorpost.” And the whole thrust of that passage is that the parent is responsible as a daily matter of priority to inculcate into the children a clear understanding of the character of God. When I hear Christians, professed Christians say, “Well, I’m not going to teach my children everything. I want them to decide for themselves,” and they abdicate their responsibility as Christians, now that terrifies me.