“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 4:6-7
They stood on the corner. As kids do. Waiting for the bus. The school bus. Beginning of the new school year. I didn’t usually walk that way. But that day I did, I saw them. The kids on the corner.
About four of them. All entranced. With their schoolbooks? With each other? Catching up on their summer breaks? On what it was like being back in school? No. They were entranced alright. Engrossed. Not with the Lord above. Not with His beautiful Creation all around, the grassy fields, the pretty landscaping in people’s yards, the warm sunny fall day. Neither with anyone human. Their eyes and hearts were fixated on their cell phones. Consumed with technology. The perfect opportunity to enjoy the Lord, to enjoy His Creation, to enjoy fellowship with other people He created. With their fellow kids. A perfect time for fellowship before the school day began. But they were too fascinated, too stuck on, their cell phones to notice anything else at all. I walked on.
Just a few blocks later. More kids on the corner. Maybe 7 or 8 total by the time the last kid walked up to join them in waiting for their bus. Two girls chatted. One kid was zoned out with his headphones on. Every other kid? Eyes fixated on their phones like they couldn’t live another moment without them.
The kids on the corner. Two corners. About 12 kids total. Two talking. Every other kid tuned out. Zoned out. Clinging, cleaving, holding on for dear life to whatever they watched on their phones – or in one boy’s case heard on his headphones.
Children learn from adults. By listening to them. By watching them. There is NOTHING more important that parents teach their children than to believe in and follow the Lord Jesus Christ for the promise of everlasting life, how to live for the Lord, and how to live by the Bible. The Lord’s greatest commands are to love Him with all our hearts and to love one another. Parents have no greater responsibility than to teach this to their children.
Kids don’t just stand on corners waiting for school buses. Kids are everywhere. Living their lives. Growing up. How many of them are holding onto their cell phones for dear life – instead of holding onto the Lord? How many have a closer relationship with their phones than with the Lord? And with their phones than with their families and others? Instead of loving the Lord first and foremost, and loving others with the love the Lord Jesus Christ gives them? How many of them know the Lord at all?
Whose job is it to teach them the Truth? God’s Truth? And to model to them what it looks like to love the Lord more than anything or anyone, and to love others in His most precious name?