So the goal of having children is the replication of God’s image, not just the replication of your image. The role of children was for God to reproduce Himself through the process of childbearing through the imprint of parenting so that God would become replicated all over the world.
We must remember that when God gave this command to man, sin had not yet entered the world. If Adam and Eve would have had children right away, God’s image would have automatically been replicated. All of this changed with the Fall. Every person born since then was still an image bearer of God. However, that image was marred by sin. With the Fall came the death of part of that image, man’s spirit.
So, when a husband and wife have children now, it does not automatically result in the true image of God being replicated and filling the earth. This is why we find God’s Word instructing parents on how to educate their children. Children need to instructed on who God is, man’s condition as a sinner, and their need for a Savior. One of the biblical principles of education in my book, Kingdom Education, is that the primary goals of education are the salvation and discipleship of our children.
Parents still have the responsibility to send their children out into the world as express images of the God who created each them. But that will only take place through diligent teaching (Deut. 6) and the intentional bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6).
One of the purposes of the church is to assist parents in understanding their God-given responsibility of educating their children biblically. The school’s primary purpose is to partner with parents by helping them provide their children with a Bible-based, Christ-centered education. Why? So that, in the end, our children might receive Christ as their Lord and Savior and go out into society as an image bearer of the living God and extend His kingdom into all the world.
Here are some questions, we need to ask ourselves related to raising children.
- As parents, do we understand that the primary purpose of having children is to replicate God’s image and fill the earth with that image?
- As church leaders and Christian educators, do we understand our role in helping parents successfully complete their God-given assignment to raise their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
- What would change in our homes, churches and schools if our first priority was to do all we can to raise our children to be true image bearers of their Creator and take that image into all the world to extend God’s kingdom rule?
Next week we will look at the role that academics plays in our efforts to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Have a good week serving Christ.