Sabbath School Lesson for October 3-9, 2020
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In order to see the role of family in our education, we will pursue these topics…
- the establishment of family at the beginning, with Adam and Eve (Sunday)
- the childhood of Jesus (Monday)
- the importance of good communication (Tuesday)
- the role of parents in education (Wednesday)
- the purpose of educating children (Thursday)
Learning is something we do throughout our lifetime. From babyhood all the way into our senior years, we are constantly changing and adapting to reflect what we understand about God.
Early on, our homes are the chief place we receive our education. Therefore, it’s vitally important that children receive the principles of God’s law, not only in their minds, but in their hearts.
The values and morals we acquire early in life through our parents set the stage for our later ability to relate to God, and receive His greatest blessing, that of salvation through God’s Son.
Songs, prayers, and stories from the Bible can be brought to the child’s level and help guide the many choices we make in life. What a solemn duty parents have in making true education available to the youth God has entrusted to them.
Memory Verse: “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother.” Proverbs 1:8 NKJV
We see from this verse that mothers and fathers both have responsibility to convey lessons of faith and obedience to their children. But, of course, it is the prerogative of the child to listen and obey those instructions.
Our constant goal should be to improve our family relationships and encourage knowledge of God, at whatever stage of religious growth we find ourselves.
Sunday: The First Family
Luke, chapter 3, gives us the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Everyone was the son of somebody, but at the end of the chapter (Luke 3:38), Adam is said to be the son of God. Adam certainly was made in His image (Genesis 5:1), and we are all His children because of this connection that existed all the way back to the beginning.
What was education like for the first family? We can be assured that their personal experience with God and the relationship Adam and Eve enjoyed with Him was shared regularly with their offspring. Lessons of love and service, of worship and praise to God were no doubt part of the instruction they received in that first home.
How heartbreaking it must have been to tragically lose one of their sons, when Abel was killed by his brother Cain. And the incident happened in a dispute during a worship service. This unfortunate event must have seemed so senseless and cruel at the time. We can only imagine how the first parents could carry on after such a sad ordeal.
But carry on, they did. And with faith, we assume they continued to guide their remaining children into the paths of righteousness that God intended for them.
Bible Verses to Consider:
- How did these consequences affect the life of this first couple after their disobedience?
- How did verse 15, bring them hope for their future, and why was it likely that this prediction was shared with their offspring?
Luke 10:27, Galatians 3:11, and Revelation 22:12
- Why have the teachings of loving God, having faith, and doing good continued to be part of what parents teach their children?
- What other teachings and/or stories do you think Adam and Eve shared with their growing family?
Monday: The Childhood of Jesus
Even though little is known about Jesus’ childhood years, we get a glimpse of His family life by examining the experience of Joseph and Mary. Luke’s Gospel provides many details into the faith, humility, and courage of both of these earthly parents of our Lord, prior to the birth of their special Son.
Luke 1:46-55 is considered the Song of Mary and includes her humble, faithful attitude. She exuberantly praised the merciful God who chose her as the mother of the Messiah.
Joseph, likewise, accepted the words of an angel more than once. By faith, he, too, acted without hesitation on heavenly directions given him in dreams.
We do know that both parents were still together when the family went to the Passover festivities when Jesus was twelve years old. His activities in the temple at that time were noteworthy enough to be recorded. See Luke 2:41-50.
Bible Verses to Consider:
- What does this Song of Mary tell us about her?
- What does this event tell you about the faithfulness of Jesus’ earthly parents?
Luke 2:46-49, 4:32
- What authority did Jesus apparently have, even at the young age of twelve?
- How did this authority explain the boy’s answer to His parents, when He stayed behind in Jerusalem?
- How do you think they took His answer at that time?
Good communication and good relationships seem to go hand in hand. You usually don’t find one without the other. It’s important to say the right thing, but also to say it in the right way.
No matter how much knowledge we have about a subject, it does little good if we can’t properly communicate that knowledge to others. But even if we have mastered the art of communication fully, having a relationship with our listener is more likely to insure understanding of what we are sharing.
Bible study and prayer are the methods God uses to communicate with us. But the resulting relationship we have with God can stagnate and die, if we don’t pass on our knowledge about God to others.
This is why families are so important in our religious education. The built-in relationship of family is meant to be the foundation upon which we communicate our knowledge about God.
Bible Verses to Consider:
Psalm 37:7, 8, Proverbs 10:32, Ephesians 4:15, Titus 3:2, and James 4:11
- How do each of these verses advise us about how to communicate?
- What must be the basic element of all our communication?
Wednesday: The Role of Parents
Both mother and father have the responsibility to prepare their offspring to have their own relationship with God. When either or both parents are too lenient or too strict, it gives a false characterization of God’s mercy and justice. The children find it more difficult to love and submit to God’s authority later on.
Every couple, especially if they are parents, should strive to…
- show mutual love and respect for each other (Ephesians 5:21, 33)
- recognize the line of command by making God their final authority (1 Corinthians 11:3)
- be as equally yoked spiritually as possible (2 Corinthians 6:14)
- depend on Christ to help them display the fruits of the Spirit (Romans 13:13, 14 and Philippians 4:8)
Parents establish the mood and temperament of the home and thereby they help shape the characters of their children. Leaning on God for wisdom and strength will not guarantee successful outcomes, but will increase the chances of healthy relationships with God and with each other.
Bible Verses to Consider:
- What kind of provocation could this be talking about and why is it detrimental to children?
- Why would this counsel also apply to mothers?
- What does it mean to be virtuous, and why is that important in the home?
- Why should the father also strive to be a virtuous example?
Thursday: Lest Ye Forget
The book of Deuteronomy was Moses’ final words to the generation about to pass into Canaan. It’s more than a repetition of God’s law, but a “Book of Remembrance”, as it’s also been called. His parting words to the children of Israel are thought to be Moses’ last will and testament, written for the purpose of ensuring that they not forget how God had led them in the past.
After reviewing the Ten Commandments in chapter 5, the next chapter reminded them that God’s law should be in their hearts. It also counseled parents to “teach them diligently” to their children (Deuteronomy 6:7). It was important to know why they worship God. Reminding them that they were slaves in Egypt, and of the many signs and wonders God had shown them, gave incentive for them to love and obey the God of their fathers.
Our family worships must also be based on our background and the mighty wonders God has done in our lives. Personal testimony time, stories about how God has led us, will encourage children to adopt the same God, and become more acquainted with His love.
Bible Verses to Consider:
- Why is having God in our heart so important when we teach the law to our children?
- When are these things to be taught, and how do you communicate God all day long in a way that will be inviting to children?
- Why is it easy to forget God when we already have an abundant, full lifestyle?
- What can we do to prevent forgetting God as we go about our daily routines?
Parents have a joint responsibility in educating their children about God. It is most likely to happen in the home when both parents work together in providing the best environment for mental, physical, and moral development.
Even outside the home, family members can communicate God’s love in both words and actions, thus educating the community at large. What a blessing our families are to ALL of us.
The family unit is as vital now as it was to Adam and Eve and to Joseph and Mary. Both of these homes can provide us with guidance in how to model the principles of love and submission in our own families.
It had to be especially challenging for our first parents after their horrible mistake and exile from their Garden home. They had no family background from which to establish their educational methods for their offspring. In addition, adapting to the surroundings of their new existence must have made their experience even more difficult. Only by recalling their memories of God’s instruction prior to the Fall were they able to know what lessons to pass on to their growing family. God was still close by, but not as accessible as He was at the beginning.
Imagine also how hard it must have been for the parents of Jesus. Knowing He was the Son of God must have been a daunting thought to Joseph and Mary. It was a brand new experience for anybody to have had. Even though they had longed for a Messiah, just like many faithful followers at the time, they had no idea in how to raise this heaven-sent Child. They knew the importance of doing it right, but had to continually learn from God the path of education that would be most helpful to His upbringing.
The quality of our communication with each other and the relationships we establish will determine to a large extent the outcome of our family life. Only with God can we say the right things and develop the close bonds that are needed in God’s family schools.
Next Week: The Law as Teacher
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