“In those days also I saw the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and they could not speak the language of Judah, but only the language of each people.”
Nehemiah 13:23-24 ESV
I read this verse last week in my studying. I was reading about how Nehemiah helped orchestrate the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its walls after the Israelites were taken into captivity by the Babylonians. The people of Israel had been separated from their homes. They had married foreign people, which God had instructed them not to do so they wouldn’t be drawn away from him.
As a result, their children were unable to speak the native language of the Israelites. As believers, we have a native language: Faith. I wonder if we are teaching our children that language.
My mother in law once said, “The kingdom of God has a language: Faith. If you can’t speak it, it’s going to be very hard to operate in God’s kingdom.”
When I went to Mexico a few years ago, I mostly stayed at a resort where English was spoken. But when I did go into the city, I needed to know the language. Luckily, I grew up in Texas, so I knew enough to get by.
Unfortunately, this is the situation for many believers. They grew up in a home where they caught pieces of the language of faith, but because it wasn’t intentionally taught to them, they only know enough to get by.
Jesus didn’t call us to just get by. He came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly! (John 10:10). We have to be intentional about instructing our children about the things of God. We have to teach them not just how to pray, but why we pray. Children will do what they see.
Every morning, my son is up before most of us in the house. I wish I had his energy! He usually goes downstairs with my husband who also wakes up early to read and study the Bible. He had the habit of grabbing his tablet and headphones and just watching something until it was time to get moving for the day.
While we are not opposed to him being on his tablet in the morning, my husband and I decided it wasn’t the best way to start his day. Recently, he’s started beginning his day by reading his Bible before getting on his tablet.
It’s not a punishment or a requirement we’re forcing him to do. We want him to see it as encouragement to start the day with time with God. That before anything else happens in the day, it’s important to see what God may want to speak to you.
Let your children see you worship, pray, and read your Bible. Teach them the importance of giving, serving and fasting. It is our responsibility to teach them the language of faith before they enter the world so that they can operate abundantly in God’s kingdom.