My dad and I got into a recent discussion about the covenant theologian’s approach to children’s salvation.
I’m not ready to blog about how I differ from this approach, but I did find an excellent, if not seemingly atypical article from a covenant theologian perspective. It has a number of excellent thoughts on teaching children about the gospel, particularly in the second and third sections. Here is an excerpt that I found quite thought provoking:
How will our children see this love in us towards God, themselves, and others? Mostly through our words and actions as we move through the day. In this, they will see and instinctively feel:
- How important God, prayer, the Bible, and worship are to us, and whether we approach God with eager expectation or out of a mere sense of duty.
- How much time and energy we spend in spiritual devotion.
- How we respond to affliction.
- If we really believe that all things work together for good for those that love God (Rom. 8:28), that not a hair can fall from our head without the Father’s will.
- If we are repenting parents who hate sin, trust in Jesus Christ, and joy in the Holy Spirit .
- If we grieve mostly over selfish things or over things that grieve God.
- If our marriage reflects the Bridegroom-bride/Christchurch models of Ephesians 5.
- If we enjoy praying, talking, playing, vacationing, and being with our children.
- If we’re willing to deny ourselves for our children’s sake.
- If we discipline our children appropriately and with love, or inappropriately and in anger.
- How we approach our vocation—as a calling from God in which we strive to use our talents for His glory, or as a selfish endeavor in which we imbibe the world’s mentality of working for the weekend.
- How we treat those who offend us, spread rumors about us, or are our enemies.
- If we are kind, compassionate, and forgiving to others (Eph. 4:32), and spur them on to love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24).
- If we pray for others (James 5:16) and offer them hospitality without grumbling (1 Pet. 4:9).
- If we rejoice with those that rejoice and mourn with those that mourn (Rom. 12:15).
- How we honor those in authority over us, such as policemen, the government, and office-bearers.
As our children grow older, they become more astute at measuring our lives against the Beatitudes or the fruits of the Spirit. They will test Christianity in us, asking such questions as, Is the Christian life worth living? How we act as parents will be the most influential answers to this question.
Bringing the Gospel to Covenant Children in Dependency on the Spirit, Joel Beeke, pages 32-33