The following is an excerpt from the book, Real Life Moments, by J. Mark Fox.
“You shall teach them diligently to your children…” (Deuteronomy 6:7)
More than 400 people attended a “Uniting Church and Family” conference in Raleigh, NC a few years ago.
I met people from Florida, New Mexico, Texas and Ohio, eager to learn how the church can unite and encourage families.
One of the problems in the church today, I believe, is that fathers are not taking a leadership role in their homes, teaching their children the Bible. Part of the blame for that lies with the church, but part of it lies with Dad himself.
“The problem is,” one speaker said, “too many men have PMS — Passive Male Syndrome.”
I laughed as my mind immediately interposed the words and I thought of another growing problem in America today that affects both men and women — Massive Pale Syndrome, which is a result of staying indoors and eating lots of fatty foods.
Passive Male Syndrome, as the speaker described it, is the tendency that men have to sit idly by as their families struggle for lack of leadership. He said, “Men should not just be repositories of truth, but they should be dispensers of it as well,”
If you are a Christian father, you may be saying to yourself, “I would love to teach my family the Bible, I just don’t know how.” I have good news for you today. It is easy.
You start by simply reading the Bible aloud with them every day. Start with a book like the Gospel of John, and read a chapter aloud, each person in the family taking turns reading a few verses at a time. Or you can start with Genesis, or with the Bible’s manual for child training, the book of Proverbs.
Just start somewhere and read a little at a time, every day, out loud, as a family. Bring the baby and the toddlers in, too. You will be amazed at what they can learn from the word of God.
“OK,” you say, “I’m with you so far. We start by reading the Bible out loud as a family. Then what do we do?”
Friend, if you begin to do just that much, you will have moved into the rarefied air of families who actively seek to place the Bible in the center of what is taught, modeled, and encouraged in your home.
Begin by reading the chapter in Scripture. Then ask the family if anyone has a comment or a question about what was just read. You have to be careful here, because wrong thinking about the truth of God’s word can lead to all kinds of error in doctrine and morality.
If your child asks you a question that you can’t answer, the best response is, “I don’t know, but I will find out.”
Call an older brother in the church that has walked with the Lord longer than you, and ask him. Call an elder or your pastor. Search the Bible for answers, because the best commentary on Scripture is other Scripture.
Perhaps most important, pray. God delights in hearing his children ask for wisdom. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.” (James 1:5).
If you do these things, I believe you will see great changes taking place in your family.
Who knows? Maybe the church will even put an end to Passive Male Syndrome. That’s my prayer.
Prayer: “O Lord, help me to walk with purpose today with regard to my responsibilities as a husband and a father.
Action: Begin today, if you have not already, to have daily devotions with your family. Start to read through a book of the Bible, one chapter at a time, or even a paragraph at a time!