How to Use the Bible to Train Your Children – Titus 3
By Jane Graham
When we were newly married, my husband and I splurged on airfare from Chicago to LA to visit some friends. The four of us had become so close during college, that the separation that came with the acceptance of diplomas was unwelcome and nearly grievous.
It was on that trip, while touring the back roads of California in an old Chevy, that I first heard someone verbalize the notion that the Bible held life’s answers for everything. That kind of sweeping absolutism was new to me, and if I’m honest, I’ll admit I had my doubts.
Bumping along in the backseat, I started a mental list of all the things I didn’t think the Bible addressed: like responsible Internet use or pornography. Like too much shopping or what constitutes abuse in a relationship. At my core, I didn’t think there was any way that one book could offer advice and guidance and boundaries for everything.
That is, until she explained it to me.
It’s not that the Bible mentions every situation, each dilemma or an assortment of temptations by name. It’s not as though every single trespass is outlined with alternatives A, B and C ready for easy selection. What it does do, however, is give us principles that can be used to help us make wise, godly decisions. Those principles protect us and help us stay in God’s will.
The three slight chapters of Titus can easily be lost after the powerhouse books of 1 and 2 Timothy. But, packed with practical advice and rich doctrine, it has long been one of my favorites. And as a mother, Titus is an absolute treasure as we make decisions about priorities (Titus 2) and as we raise young disciples for Christ (Titus 3).
I love using the Bible to teach behavior expectations not only for the obvious reason of wanting God’s best for our home, but because I want to show our children that the Bible is practical and relevant to daily life. (Friend, if you’re not a mother, I promise you’ll be blessed by this, too! For the purposes of this post, however, I’ll be directing my thoughts to moms.)
Here’s how we use Titus 3 to train our children:
Using Scripture to Guide Behavior Expectations
Titus 3:1-2 is such a precious reminder for us as we consider our actions.
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
Mothers – can you imagine hanging this verse on your refrigerator and reading it together when you have to correct your little one?
- When they are not submissive to you (rebellion)
- When they are not obedient (listening the first time)
- When they are not ready for good work (being helpful with a happy heart)
- When they choose to speak evil (rather than kind words…or none at all)
- When they quarrel (with their siblings, friends, or with you)
- When they are not gentle (with baby brother, the pet, your home décor or with toys on the coffee table)
- When they are not courteous (let’s raise polite kids!)
I love how the Bible is so practical! And as women—mothers or not—can’t we use these same principles in our daily life?
Using Scripture to Teach Doctrine
Titus 3:4-7 is one of my favorite passages in all of Scripture. With poetry and gratitude, Paul sums up our salvation in the best run-on sentence of all time:
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness,
but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs
according to the hope of eternal life.
Concepts to draw out for your children:
- Our God is good and kind; He sent Christ out of love for us.
- HE saves us – no one else can save us.
- God saves us because of his mercy. This means we do not receive what we deserve.
- Our work does not save us.
- God pours out the Holy Spirit as a gift through Jesus.
- Jesus Christ is our Savior.
- We are justified by grace. This means we do receive that which we do not deserve.
- We have the hope of eternal life.
- We are heirs of the Kingdom. This proves we are his children.
Friends, look at these wonderful truths! They are such an encouragement to my own faith – imagine what power they hold to build the faith of your children!
Be encouraged, moms, and know that God has indeed given you the answers you want. He has offered the guidance you need when you’re weary and don’t know how to answer your child. Face tomorrow with the confidence that comes with knowing, trusting, following and teaching God’s Word.
image by permission – Kelli Campbell
Jane Graham is a paper-and-ink-word-lover and is amazed that God has opened the door to a career in writing. In 2010 Jane helped write Weaving Dreams: the Joy of Work, the Love of Life, which debuted at #13 on the Wall Street Journal List. More importantly, Jane loves being a mom and raising her three kids to be young disciples, to bake great cookies, and to enjoy summer with abandon. While she has put blogging on the back burner for a season, you can learn more about her and her love of Jesus at GirlMeetsPaper.com.