Is Godly Character All Our Children Need?

father and son walking on rails in green tunnelFor the past two weeks, I have been commenting on Dr. Tony Evans’ statement about God’s command for Christians to multiply and fill the earth.  Evans said that God commanded Adam and Eve to do this because man was created in God’s image and He wants His image replicated and sent to all corners of the globe.  Last week I wrote how sin has marred God’s image in man so one of the major goals of education needs to be leading our children to Christ and then building godly character into their lives so that God’s image will be replicated and fill the earth for His kingdom’s expansion.

After reading the past two posts, you might think I am one of those Christians who believe that if our children know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and have developed godly character, than that is all we need to do in educating them.  There is really no need for them to study math, science, language, etc.  My response to that type of thinking is a resounding NO!  Yes, the most important things in a person’s life is for them to know Christ and be conformed into His image.  However, God expects much more.

After God told Adam and Eve to multiply and fill the earth, He told them to have “dominion” over the earth.  As Christian parents replicate God’s image in their children and they go out and fill the earth, they must be prepared to be good stewards of God’s creation.  If all we did were to have children, see them come to Christ, and guide them into developing godly character, we would find good Christians “living” all around the world.  However, God wants His image replicated and filling the earth in a much deeper way.

Just simply being physically living in many different places isn’t enough.  God wants to see His image  replicated and filling all areas of life.  He wants His image in the field of medicine, business, politics, the arts, engineering, etc., etc.  Just knowing Christ and having Christ-like character will not enable our children to go out into the culture and engage it for Him.

This is why we must take deliberate action to make sure that our children receive an education that will provide them with the tools they will need to fulfill God’s plans for their lives.  What is different about how we are to do this from how the world does it, is that we are to teach our children all subjects from a biblical worldview perspective.  They must understand what the God-intended meaning is behind all the truths that they learn about all subjects that they study.

If the home, church and school are united under the same biblical philosophy of education, then, I believe, we will be fulfilling God’s purpose for having children.  We will be replicating His image, instilling a biblical worldview in them and equipping them to go out and take His image into all areas of life.  And what is the ultimate purpose for doing all of this?  It is to bring Him the glory due Him.  What a marvelous plan God designed when He created man in His image and then told man to multiply, fill the earth and subdue it
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I would love to hear your thoughts on this very important topic.

Glen Schultz

Author Glen Schultz

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Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Brian Priest says:

    I think Jesus captured this well when he said, “Love me with your mind” (Matt 22:37). For me, this states quite succinctly that, as believers, we should strive to use the mental resources God has entrusted to us. I like the way Peter said it – “…gird up the loins of your mind” (1 Pet 1:13). The world needs a church that is intellectually prepared to live God-honoring lives among the masses. However, it is imperative that we strive to accomplish this in light of the gospel. As Paul admitted, if I can speak in the tongues of men, but have not love, I am nothing. The love and light of Christ must permeate our intellectual pursuits and achievements.

  • Shantell says:

    Thanks Dr. Schultz for such an important third installment of the “why have children” series. It is much needed, if for no other reason than to provide ‘balance’ to those like me who tend toward the extreme. The piece offers wonderful insight into the necessity of academic content, from a biblical perspective, of course. It also presents a nice segue from the theory/philosophy of Christian education into the practice and purpose of one. We must be careful not to biblically educate our children to the point of being so ‘heavenly minded’ that they no ‘earthly good’. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    • Glen Schultz says:

      There are always two sides to a coin and we must give attention to both sides. Thanks for your insights.

  • Melanie Mittel says:

    Thank you for your blog and for being intentional in regards to the focus of the Christian life being unified toward wholeness. Godly character is important, but when taught without the reason of bearing God’s image, it becomes contradicted by works: success or failure. The success draws the heart to fleshly pride and the failure to pity. Each of these sinful states leave children with the emptiness that defines them as not enough. It hinders their understanding of what it means to glorify God. As children see their depravity, they also see their need. Godly character is no longer a stock pile to show their good behavior and the rewards that are obtained by it, but a manifestation of Christ and a pure desire to live like Him so that He is made known. The more children are exposed to the whole gospel and that the teachers and parents leading them need that same gospel, the more likely they are to see it as life. The “shalom” (peace) of living completely in Him is joy, yet, we cannot know that joy unless we understand our sinful state without Christ daily leading us. Asking the LORD to search us, know us and see the wicked ways in us, allowing Him to lead us brings joy. (Psalm 139:23) As we take seriously the responsibility we have as believers to train the next generation, we must be compelled to live our lives as vulnerable models that reveal Jesus as the producer of authentic character that cannot be manufactured by good behavior.

  • Perhaps part of the problem is our limited definition of “godly character.” Although moral or ethical qualities are critical parts of God’s character, they are not the sum total of what God is like. If we are going to be “like Jesus,” “conformed to His image,” we have to grow mentally, socially and physically (Luke 2:52). If we’re not learning and growing in every area of life, we are not following His example and can hardly claim to have “godly character.” After all loving God involves heart, soul, body, and MIND. People often talk about soul-winners and letting Jesus come into your heart, but somehow “mind-winners” seems like a strange concept. The insidious influence of SSD (secular-sacred divide) keeps us thinking that God is only interested in some parts of what He has created instead of every part.

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