The Family

Scripture: Proverbs 1:8
Date: 10/10/2020 
Lesson: 2
What does the Bible say about education in the family, and what principle can we take away from it for ourselves, whatever our family situation happens to be?
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Doug Batchelor: Hello, friends. Welcome to our "Sabbath School Study Hour." We're so glad that you can tune in and join us today. We have a good lesson ahead of us. We know that we've got friends that are tuning in now from all different parts of the planet, and, boy, what an interesting world we're living in right now. We're looking forward to getting into our study in a little bit, dealing with the subject of education.

But at the beginning of our broadcast, we always want to tell you about a free offer we have that should help accent and enhance the subject that we're studying, and it's a beautiful study guide produced by Amazing Facts, one of our best and most popular. It's called "A Love That Transforms," and we'll be actually sending this to you for free. You can call to get a hard copy by calling the number 866-788-3966. That's 866-Study-More. Or you can also, if you want, you can have it sent to you digitally by texting, "SH003" to 40544, and you should see those numbers up there on the screen. And you can also find this by simply going to the Amazing Facts website.

If you go to the Amazing Facts website, this is one in our series, beautiful color study guides that teach different principles from the Word of God. They're very powerful, been around for about 45 years now, updated, upgraded several times, but they just--they make the most of the Word of God, and they still transform lives.

Well, we're going to dive into our lesson today and dealing with the subject of education, in particular, in the family. But as always, we want to begin asking for God's blessing before we do. Loving Father, we pray that as we talk about this very important and vital subject of education, in particular, the education of children in the family, we pray for the Holy Spirit to be with us, pray that we'll learn the most important priorities, and then, Lord, guide us in how to put these into practice, and so bless now. We thank you, and we pray this in Christ's name, amen.

All right, so we're in lesson number two. We're dealing with our quarterly, fairly new in our study, dealing with the subject of education, and today we're talking about education in the family, and we have a memory verse, and our memory verse is coming to us from Proverbs 8, verse 1, and it says here, "My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother." Of course, right in the middle of the Ten Commandments, the first of the commandments that deal with our relationship between man and man, is "Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you."

Remember, the Ten Commandments are divided in two tables. First four commandments deal with our relationship to God, and, of course, that first commandment says, "I am the Lord, you shall not have other gods." Then you get to the other table dealing with our relationship with our fellow man. First thing it does, very basic elementary level, saying, "Honor your father and mother," because the father and mother will be the spring of knowledge for that child as they enter the world, and they must be respected because, in many ways, the respect and the honor that children have for their parents will ultimately be transferred to respect and honor for their heavenly Father. And so the parents have this extraordinary responsibility in guiding, in rearing, in teaching principles, in supplying data and information for the minds, the growing, fertile minds of young children.

The family and the parents are to be the first school. This was part of God's original design. Now, as human beings, our brains are healthy--if our brains are healthy--we're always learning. In fact, life itself is a school. And God did something when he first made people, where he made our minds hungry and curious. You think about children. They're such a wonder when they first begin to look out in the world, and they keep that wonder for quite a while where they are drinking in. They're just vacuuming information on a level of data consumption that you and I can't comprehend. They're taking in so much into their eyes and into their ears and into their senses, and you watch the little babies--I know when they're--they can't even roll over. You put them in the bassinet or in the crib, and the parents get them one of these little mobiles or something to hang above the crib, and they look at its spinning, and they look at the colors, and they reach it, and then they want to taste it, and they're trying to gather information about how these things work. And they're examining their fingers and their toes and trying to figure out what their bodies are, and it's, just, it's a marvelous thing to watch how their little minds are so voraciously taking in information.

Well, they're going to learn. They're going to be taking in information from their environment, but it is so important for parents to guide them in the principles that they learn about what is the purpose of life. Let me read a quote to you from the book "Child Guidance," and this is page 299: "Our life work here is a preparation for eternal life. The education begun here will not be completed in this life. It will be going forward through all eternity, ever progressing, never completed."

You know, I used to love playing guitar. Well, I still play guitar. I play guitar just about every day, actually. I have one. Got a guitar, and I've got a flute in my office, and when I've had all the studying and reading and writing that I can do, I just get up, and I grab my guitar, and it's sort of a break for me, but I've always been very frustrated because I never had, really, formal training with a guitar. I think I took three lessons before my mother became exasperated that I wasn't practicing, and that was the end of that. Then I took it up again when I lived in the cave. I was about 17. And so--but I never did learn to do these certain complicated picking motions with my hands, and I remember thinking a little while ago, 'Well, you know, I'm over 60, now. What are my chances to learn that?" And then I thought about this quote that, "Whatever I learn in this life, I take with me into the next life," and I thought my education isn't done just because I'm getting older in this life.

You know, if you are a Christian and you believe you take from this life what you learn into the next life--I heard about a lady who was in her 90s, and she decided to go back to college, and she got her bachelor's degree. Actually, she graduated with one of her granddaughters or great-granddaughters--I forget. Just an amazing story. She says, "I never want to stop learning." And so, you know, that inspires me to know that, at any point in your life, whatever you choose to learn, you will be taking that with you into the next life. I am going to--by the way, I did learn how to do that picking. I just kept at it, and I thought, "Wow, it's not too late to learn." And it was so difficult, but I kept at it, and now I can do it without thinking it. I thought, "I can keep learning. I'm going to know how to pick my harp in heaven now because I trained in this life. I will take the education from here to there."

And so you don't ever want to say, "Well, what good will it do me to be learning in this life?" Because this life is not the end of where you use what you learn. And so that's just a really important principle for us to remember. So we learned a little bit about the family last week.

Now, the family is the first place where the education begins, and this is part of God's plan. The first teacher for Adam and Eve was God, and I'm sure that God gave them a lot of instruction about their environment in the garden, in nature, and just the principles of life, but as man was made in the image of God, then God designed that, when man and woman procreate through an act of love, they then become the teachers.

Boy, what a fantastic--what a frightening responsibility that parents should be guiding the minds of a creature that has the potential to have a life that will measure with the life of God, that they can live eternally, and teaching them rightly can give them a better chance of having that eternal life, or neglecting their teaching or teaching them wrongly can set them on the course to eternal loss. That is a wonderful and an awesome and a terrifying responsibility, but that's part of God's design.

Now, some things are different from when God made Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve came from the factory, you might say, preprogrammed. They came with certain software already installed. You know, when you get your computer out of the box, if you buy a new desktop or laptop computer or even your phone or a tablet, you press the power button, and as soon as it powers up, it usually comes with a lot of pre-installed software, and that computer already has usually a word processor, and it's made where it can read. It's got a camera. It's made where it can see. It's got--my computer had a program where I can talk, and it types. It could hear. It's got all this pre-installed software.

Adam came with a lot of pre-installed knowledge. Adam did not need to learn to crawl. Adam did not need to learn to eat. He did not--I can't picture Adam in the Garden of Eden with--God's got a little bitty spoon, trying to put applesauce in his mouth. I'm sure he came pre-installed with great coordination, probably better than any we have. And so he had that benefit or advantage, you might say, but when human parents have a little baby, they are looking to the parents to help teach them so many of the fundamentals and the basics of life. And, yes, even Jesus had to learn those things, but we're getting ahead of ourselves now.

If you look in the book "Education," page 33--and this is in your lesson, still under the introduction-- "The system of education established in Eden centered in the family. Adam was 'the son of God,' Luke 3:38, and it was from the Father that the children of the highest received the instruction. Theirs, in the truest sense, was the family school." And so Adam and Eve had this responsibility of teaching His children. I think God gave them some information about what their responsibilities were going to be because it just winging it can be difficult.

Now, my father's father died when he was seven. My father was the oldest. My father's younger brothers grew up pretty much without a father. Grandma Batchelor never remarried. And I lived with my uncle, who was younger than my father, and he ended up being a pretty good father. He--just, you know, I lived with him for a few months, and I thought, you know, his kids all loved him. They turned out pretty good. And I asked him one day, I said, "Harry," I said, "how is it that you just knew how to be a father, and you really had no father to be an example?" And then he said, "Well, you know, Doug, sometimes you have to 'wing it,'" and they call that "flying by the seat of your pants," and--or you look around. Maybe you've got some good uncles that are mentoring for you. But God didn't design that Adam and Eve should have to just wing it. I think the Lord guided them as they sought for wisdom in how to guide their children. But they understood that it was very important for them to tenderly and patiently teach their children.

Now, as a father of six children, eight grandchildren, last count, it takes patience to teach children. And, for me, who am naturally an impatient person, it is so much easier for me to clean their room than teach them how to clean their room, but I've learned that, if I take a little extra time to teach them how to clean their room, then it saves me a lot of time in the future. The first few times you try to get your kids to wash the dishes, you kind of have to wash them again. There's still food on the plates. There is a risk they're going to drop the porcelain dishes and break them, or glasses are going to break, or you're going to end up with the forks in the spoon slot in the drawer, and there's going to be things that are fudged up a little bit, but you know what? As a parent, that is part of the teaching process. And so you just got to say, "Look, I'm going to take the time to lovingly and patiently go through it with them," and then there's repetition, over and over, and they get it.

There's something else that you learn in raising children. Children love to play. Matter of fact, if you try and get them to do work--and, by the way, work is something Adam and Eve had to teach their children. Part of God's plan. If you don't teach your children discipline and work, they're going to have a really tough life. They've got to have self-control, and they've got to learn how to work. But you've got to mix the work with play, and if the kids know that "After you do this little bit of work, we're going to reward you with some time of play," they are so excited to get that work done. And if you say, "If you do the work and you do it well, I'm going to reward you with some time to play," they become very excited about it, and pretty soon they just realize that work is part of life so that you get to enjoy the play.

And, of course, there are benefits to work. There's some satisfaction that comes from a job that's well done, as well as the money you might receive that empowers you to do other things that might be of interest. So teaching them those principles of reward and consequences, it's just so very important, and if they don't get their work done, they don't get to play.

But that means that, as parents, you work alongside with them, and when they've done what you think they can do--you don't want to, you know, ask a five-year-old to do eight hours of work. You just give them a little bit of work and teach them the principle, then stop, and you need to play with them. Mom needs to spend some time playing with them, and just keep going through that benefit and that reward, teaching them self-discipline, self-control, making them apply themselves to something they may not want to do, but they're looking beyond to the reward. So there are just some basic principles here.

I'm sure--what are the things that God taught Adam and Eve? Well, probably he taught them something--how to survive in their environments. One of the first things children need to learn is "What is this environment I live in?" They're very tactile and touching everything and trying to understand it. You blow a little in their face, and they gasp, and they're trying to figure out what's going on around them. Well, Adam and Eve, God taught them about their environment.

Let me just give you a few little wonders someone sent me of Creation. "One might observe God's accuracy and wonders in creation just in the way that eggs hatch. You know, the eggs of a canary are in 14 days. Those of the barnyard hen hatch in 21 days. Eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days. Those of a mallard, 35 days. The eggs of a parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days. Notice that, with all these birds, they are all divisible by seven. Of course, that's the number of days in a week.

God in His wisdom made the elephant. The four legs of this great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other quadruped is made this way. God planned that this animal would have a huge body too, and he lives on two legs. For this reason, he gave it four fulcrums so that it can raise from the ground easily, two legs at a time. The horse rises from the ground on its front legs first. The cow rises from the ground on its hind legs first. How wise the Lord is in all of His Creation. Each watermelon has an even number of stripes on the rind. Each orange has an even number of segments. Each ear of corn will have an even number of rows."

You're going to be counting this next time. "Each stock of wheat has an even number of grains. Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row and even number of bananas, and each row decreases by one so that one row has an even number, the next row, an odd number, the next row, an even number." Amazing. "The waves of the sea roll on shore 26 to the minute in all kinds of weather. All grains are found in the even numbers of the stock. God has caused the flowers to blossom at a certain specific time during the day, and different flowers, different times during the day."

I know, when I lived up in the cave, they had something called "deadly nightshade," and they called it nightshade because the flower would un-spiral and open during the full moon. I used to observe that. "Linnaeus the great botanist, once said that, if he had a conservatory containing the right kind of soil, moisture, and temperature, he could plant enough different plants, and he could tell the time of day or night by looking at the different plants that were open and those that were closed. He said he could set a clock by them."

God has made nature so precise. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, you might say. And so this was God's plan that they teach their children from the environment, that the children were able to work in the soil and then maybe play with the animals. I'm sure that, you know, back there, just outside the Garden of Eden before the flood, that the animals were probably--still, though they had the fear of man, that they had many that were pets and that many that were very cute and fun to play with, and the children were able to play with these things. They learned from the different animals and their interesting habits, and what a beautiful world it must've been before the curse of the flood. So they received instruction probably in botany, agriculture, zoology, astronomy, and that God was placing them, of course, in charge of His garden, and so they knew something about botany.

In Genesis 1, they were taught about Creation, Genesis 1:1 and 2, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was on the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering on the face of the waters." So they learned about God. God's saying, "Let Us make man in Our image," God the Father, Son, and the Spirit, that hovered on the face of the waters. They learned about that He was the Creator. You can read in Genesis 1:26, "And the Lord said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' So God created man in His own image. In the image of God created He male and female, created He them."

And so I think man was made with a certain amount of curiosity. And those of you who are parents, you know that, when children get to where they can talk and they're two or three years old, they start asking questions that can drive you to distraction. "Why? Why? Why?" "Well, I've got to plant this flower." "Why?" You know, and it could rain. "Why?" "Don't eat your dessert before you eat your dinner." "Why?" Heh-heh, they got some good questions. But, boy, you've got to be patient, answering all those "why" questions. And they are just--if we could only see, their minds are soaking up information so quickly. You know, it's phenomenal, it really is phenomenal when you think about it.

I've known people that were 25 years old, and they move from one country where they speak one language to another country, and 25 years later, they are still struggling to speak the language, but then you have a family that moves, and that family--and I've seen this many times--that family's got three kids that are under the age of ten, and they send them to school in a foreign country, being taught in a language that kids have never spoken before, and you know what? In one year, those kids are fluently speaking the language. In two years, they're speaking it without an accent. And 20 years later, the parents still don't understand. So there is a time--and you probably--I can see you're nodding out there--other side of the camera. There is a certain time in the life when the minds are so astute and so sharp, and the memories.

You know, I used to have a really good memory. My memory is not bad now, but it was really, really good when I was younger. And I'll make a confession now. The way I got my driving test is they had a master book--you might get one of five different tests when you were driving, and you did not know which one they were going to hand you at the DMV here in California, but it was one of three or five. I forget. But you could buy the book that had all of the tests in it, and I went through the book, and I just memorized all the answers. And when I got my flying degree, they had something similar. They had a book, and on your final written exam for flying--and there's some really complicated questions in there that deal with math and wind drift and direction and compensation and three-dimensional calculations, and there's just some deep stuff for me, anyway. I got the book, and I went through the book, and I read every question. I read the multiple-choice answers, and I noticed which answer was right. That's how I passed.

And I just was able to--I'd read a Scripture. I'd just remember it. And now I read a Scripture, and in 20 minutes, I've forgotten it, and I think, "Oh, I wish I had read more Scripture when I was younger." I wish that I had committed the whole Bible to memory because the verses I remember now, when I'm teaching and preaching, it's not the verses I read yesterday. It's the verses I read 30 years ago that I remember. So there's something about your mind where it's extremely supple.

Now, I can still learn things. It just takes a lot more effort. And I can memorize a verse, but I've got to read it about six times now, where before--one time. And so make the most when your children are young. Have them memorize Scripture. And the lessons that you implant, "Train up a child in the way he should go when he's young, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." The concrete is so much easier to shape when it's soft, and once it hardens, it becomes a little more difficult. And so teach them while they're young.

So they were taught about the Creator and that the Creator should be worshiped. Nehemiah 9:6, "You alone are the Lord. You have made the heaven and the heavens, with all their hosts, the earth and everything in it, the sea and all that is in them, and you preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You." Now, how different that is from what is being taught to most children in public education today. The kids are not being told that everything was made by God, and it had just--it grieves me, and I kind of flinch every time I hear a teacher in a public school--now, I know there are some public schools that are exceptions, but when they say, "Millions of years ago, this slowly evolved from this," and what do the children learn?

Instead of the idea that they are made in the image of God with a great and a noble purpose, and they someday will live through eternity, and God will dwell with them, this big picture of God and divinity, instead of that, they're getting, "You really have no purpose in life. You've evolved from some primeval sludge, and just by a lot of accidents, you sort of mathematically worked your way up, and you just got lucky enough to be born as one of these creatures, called 'humans,' that really have no purpose and other than your brief existence." To be taught that is so sad. That's why it's so important, when we're living in a world where the children are going to get mixed messages.

Now, back in Adam's day and probably for the first few generations, think about it: When Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel and their posterity, when they were alive before the flood, they could go to the Garden of Eden. They could go to the gates. They couldn't go in. They could go to the gates of the Garden of Eden, and they could see that flaming cherub there with the sword. They believed the story of Adam and Eve. They believed that God made them, and I don't think they had problems with evolution back then, but now you've got to train up your children so that they have a deeply ingrained faith that they have been divinely created. Whenever you show them anything, they need to know that this was made by God.

You know, when our kids were young, we used to enjoy watching good nature videos, and some of the best nature videos were made by BBC, and some of the best photography and the most amazing, wonderful things, David Attenborough did, a lot of beautiful nature videos, whether it was "Planet Earth" or "Blue Planet" or about the oceans, and our kids used to watch that, but I'd sit there with them, and then every now and then, after showing all these amazing, wonderful, miraculous things in nature, they would say, "And millions of years ago," and I taught my kids, whenever they heard it, they went, "Nah, nah, nah. Nah, nah, nah," and because, you know, they just--I had to train them and say, "Look at all the miracles that we're seeing in this program. That all happened by accident?" And they realized that that is really an absurd idea that all that symbiotic relationships and all that design and all that wonder could just evolve by accident. So you have to sit there with them and prepare them because, once they get out in the world, they're going to be hearing, "Millions of years ago," "Millions of years ago," "Billions of years ago, there was nothing, and all of this came from nothing. It just exploded." That's theory of man. And so in your training them about the importance of God the Creator and the Creation, that needs to be just settled in their minds so they never doubt it and their noble purpose: "I am made in the image of God, and some day, I will answer to God for the life that I've lived."

This life is very brief. You can't just live it for yourself. You'll give an account to God for everything you do, for all of your works, for every idle word that you speak. This is what Jesus teaches. And so they are created by God for a great purpose, and we will all answer to God. We are stewards of our time and our lives.

Once a child reaches the age of accountability, which, you know, biblically it could be somewhere between 10 and 13, depending on the child's understanding, they need to realize, "I'm accountable to God for my decisions." So they taught them this. "Christian education is committed to educating families and members in doctrine, worship, instruction, fellowship, evangelism, and service.

Home is where you minister to family members about the love and the promises of God. It's where Jesus is introduced to the children as their Lord and Savior and friend, and where the Bible is upheld as the Word of God." In 2 Corinthians 4:16, "For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

So not only are we teaching them about God, they need to be taught about the plan of salvation. They need to be taught about the fall. Why is there suffering in the world? And when the kids are asking, "Why, why, why?" you know, at some point, they're going to see something die, and it's at a usually very early age, and they're going to want to know why, and what's going to happen to Kitty or to Fido when they die? Why is there death? And just explaining to them the rebellion of Lucifer, the entrance of sin, that death is not permanent for the believer, it's so important for them to understand that.

I remember being shocked. When I was little, I always thought you got hurt, and you went to the doctor, and we used to play doctor, and we always put Band-Aids all over each other, and we thought, you know, you just put some medicine on, take a pill, and we used to mix up our own concoctions, and we thought doctors fixed everything.

And then I vividly remember this: There was a black-and-white TV. I was with my grandmother and grandfather. My grandfather was watching some program where a bullfighter was out in the ring, and the bullfighter got hit by the bull, and he got tossed around and gored, and they carried him off. And I said, "Grandpa, they're taking him to the doctor," and my grandfather, in his abrupt way, he said, "No, Dougie, he's deader than a doornail." I said, "Well, he's going to--they'll give him some medicine, he'll get better." He said, "No, he's dead. He's not ever coming back." And I was shocked as a child with the concept of death, that someone's life could end. I thought, "That could happen to me?" And, boy, I tell you, it kind of puts a fear in you as a child.

They need to be taught that there's life beyond the grave, or, otherwise, it's a hopeless end, but they need to be taught that, really, they've got an endless hope because of Jesus.

Now, looking in the section on the childhood of Jesus, just think about how miraculous and amazing it was that God the Father, He committed the education of His beloved Son to a flawed, human family. Now, you realize that Joseph and Mary, though they were godly people--Mary was a godly woman--they were people, and all humans have sinned. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God," and the only exception to that is Jesus Himself. Yes, Joseph had sinned. Mary--I know that there's a church that teaches the "immaculate conception," that Mary was born sinless. That's not taught anywhere in the Bible. Mary was human. Even during the life of Jesus, Mary had to be, kind of, corrected by Jesus a couple times. She was pushing Him to do things before His time. Said, "Come and talk to your family. We're out here waiting for you," and He said, "Who is my mother, my father, my brethren, but those that hear the Word of God and do it." Said, "Jesus, you need to help them at the wedding." He turned the water into wine, and He said, "Woman, My time has not yet come." And so, you know, there were times even in Mary's life--and I'm sure before--where she sinned, and, yet God took His perfect Son and placed Him in a human family to be taught by humans.

And can you imagine, when the angels appeared and spoke to the shepherds? And the shepherds came to Joseph and Mary and said, "We've just heard from angels this is the Messiah." When the wise men showed up and they said, "We've seen the star," "This is the King," and the angel who spoke to Joseph, and the angel who spoke to Mary, they understood that they had been given the commission of the highest charge of any parents to raise the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Boy, talk about a heavy job. How careful they were in instructing Jesus. And so, yeah, the angels told them--said, "Mary, do not be afraid. God is," and this, by the way, is Matthew* chapter 18, verse 25, while Joseph is thinking about these things because the angel had said that she would be of child with the Holy Spirit. He told him, "Joseph, do not be afraid to take to you Mary, your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bring forth a Son. You'll call His name Jesus. He will save His people from their sins." And this was spoken of by the prophet, the fulfillment that God would be with us.

You could read in Luke 1, verse 26, "Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said, 'Rejoice highly favored one, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.' But when she saw him, she was troubled at this saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. The angel said, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you've found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son and call His name Jesus. He will be great and be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever."

Boy, can you imagine the pressure of knowing that you've got this child, and can you imagine how Joseph and Mary felt when Jesus was 12, and they took Him to the temple, and then they went home with this big procession of people that were up from Galilee and Nazareth, and after they traveled for a day and a half, they said, "You know, we can't find Jesus in the crowd anywhere." They thought for sure He was a responsible young man. He was hanging out with some cousins or something. And they realized they had lost Jesus. Can you imagine trying to explain that to God? "God, we know that you gave us your Son to watch over Him. We seem to have misplaced Him." Well, that would've been really tough. And that's why she said later, when they found Jesus, she said, "Son, why'd You do this to us? You nearly gave us a heart attack." I'm paraphrasing. "We have sought You, sorrowing."

For three days, they were so anxious. "God committed to us this important charge. The Savior of the world. We've misplaced Him. We've lost the Savior." Hah, and, now, I just said that somewhat in jest but trying to get us to understand, really, every parent with every child, you have the potential to raise someone up that will be a son and daughter of God. The Bible said, "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God." And so, yes, Joseph and Mary were given this charge to raise up the Savior of the world.

You and I are given the charge to raise up children who will not just be saved, but God wants us to raise children that can save others. We want to teach them the plan of salvation and give them a missionary spirit. Teach them through example.

You know, I don't want to finish this lesson without saying the most obvious thing: Sometimes, children do not listen to their elders, but they never fail to imitate them. The most important way to teach children--three things, example, example, example. And if you're going to teach them to clean, clean right beside with them. If you're going to teach them to vacuum, do it with them if you've got two vacuum cleaners, but you know what I mean. Work with them. If you're going to tell them how to plant seeds, do it with them.

You teach them by example. If you don't want them to yell at each other, never yell at them, and do not yell at your spouse. When kids show up in kindergarten, and they're losing their temper, they probably learned it at home, or they've got a very indulgent parent that hasn't taught them self-control. And so it's so much by example that they learn these things.

So, and then, of course, we need to teach them, of course, to read and to write so that they can read and study the Word of God. You know, "Among evangelical protestants--" I saw this. It was interesting, an amazing fact. This morning I thought I'd share with you: "Among evangelical protestants, 66% of women read the Scriptures at least once a week compared to 58% of men, and there are similar studies that have been done both by the Pew Research and the Barna research groups. "More women read their Bibles than men."

Could Mary read? You know, it talks about that usually the boys were taught in Israel to read, and they did the public readings, but evidently the women could also read, and I'm quite sure that Mary could read. Listen to this: "Desire of Ages," page 70, talking about the learning and training of Jesus: "The child Jesus did not receive instruction in the synagogue schools. His mother was His first human teacher. From her lips and from the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of heavenly things. The very words which He Himself had spoken to Moses for Israel He was now taught at His mother's knee. As He advanced from childhood to youth, He did not seek the schools of the rabbis. He needed not the education to be obtained from such sources, for God was His instructor." Not only was He taught of His mother, He was taught by the Holy Spirit.

I read an interesting amazing fact. You know, in 1977, some geologists were doing some exploration in an extremely remote part of Siberia, off by the border of Mongolia, and there at 6,000 feet, they thought they saw something that it looked like it was man-made, and as they came in a little closer, they saw something that looked like a shed in the side of a hill and rows and rows of gardens. They landed and gradually came up to the place. They found a family that had been living in isolation for 42 years.

The father with his wife and three children had escaped the Bolshevik persecution, and they had had no interaction, or virtually no interaction, with any other humans for 42 years. They'd lived off the land, just about starving from year to year. Can you imagine in Siberia surviving the winters up there? And they had two more children that lived up there that had never seen anybody outside of their own family, two daughters, yet the mother--the only books they had was they had a Bible and a few prayer books. Very devout people. The mother taught the girls to read, and they made their own ink from some of the local plants. She taught them to read and write the Word of God, which is quite amazing when you think about it, but that family, those parents, were the teachers, the only school for those children from--for 42 years. Now, that's not healthy. We're not recommending that, but it's just talking about an amazing fact. I thought you'd find interesting.

Communication. "The true teacher can impart to his pupils few gifts so valuable as the gift of his own companionship. It is true of men and women, and how much more of youth and children, that only as we come in touch through sympathy can we understand them, and we need to understand in order to more effectively benefit." So in the process of teaching, parents will learn every one of your children is unique and different. And Karen and I stand back sometimes, and we look at the kids, and we go, "Wow, they are all so different." And even though they grew up in fairly similar circumstances, they've got different temperaments. There's different combinations of genes and DNA.

You know when that miracle of life happens? It's just a--you don't know what you're going to drop in the blender that day, and interesting that the different traits and characteristics, they'll be like the mother and father, and I always tell Karen, "It's amazing how the kids got all of my good traits," and her bad ones, but they'll end up being something--I'm just kidding. They'll end up being something like the mother and the father, and some are trained tendencies, some are inherited tendencies, but that all must be guided and molded for the glory of God. You do that by drawing near to them. Study them, their temperaments, how they respond better.

Some of our kids, I could talk to them and tell them I was displeased, and they'd had a meltdown. Their little hearts would break, and I didn't need to ever resort to corporal punishment. Other kids, they'd fold their arms and stomp their feet, and they were just defiant and strong-willed, and it took somethin' different. You just have to know, with every child, study them, draw closer to them. Let them see that you love them, and you have their best interests in mind, and that's so important. Psalm 37, verse 7, "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, forsake wrath. Do not fret. It only causes harm."

So don't let your children see you stewing and worrying and stressing and fretting because they'll just model what you have. Let them see that you have a faith in God, that you trust God, that your love for them is unconditional, and they will then begin to trust in that. You know, especially because you have them when they're so young, they grow up--you are really God to them. You're supplying all of their needs when they're little. They're looking to you to hold them to protect them, to provide for them, to clean them. They're utterly dependent when they come in this world, and if you showed them love, and you've got their best interests, they're not going to doubt you when you tell them about God and his truth.

Some parents assume the kids are going to get it all through osmosis. It is important you sit down and you teach them diligently. Then this is one of the most important parts of the lesson, Deuteronomy 6, verse 6, teach them the Word of God: "These words that I command you shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently," that means repetitively, with effort-- "when you talk of them, when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, on the road, in the home, when you lie down," evening worship, "when you rise up," morning worship. "You shall bind them as a sign on your hand. They will be as frontlets between your eyes." And that's symbolically speaking. It says it'll be in your heart too. That's obviously a symbol. That means show them the Word of God in your work and your actions, in your thoughts and in your meditation.

"Write them on the doorposts of your house and of your gates." You surround yourself with the Word of God. "Thy Word I've hidden in my heart that I might not sin." So hide the Word of God in your children's hearts, and it will be a great blessing to them.

Well, I'm looking at the clock, and I see that I'm about out of time. I think we got through the heart of the lesson. I want to remind you, if you missed it at the beginning, we do have a free offer I trust will be a blessing. It's called "A Love That Transforms." We will send you a copy. If you're in North America, 866-788-3966, and I believe that's the lower 50 states, the contiguous U.S., 866-Study-More. And you can download this via text, "SH003" to 40544. Read that. Share it with friends, and God willing, we'll look forward to studying His Word with you again next week.

Announcer: Don't forget to request today's life-changing free resource. Not only can you receive this free gift in the mail, you can download a digital copy straight to your computer or mobile device. To get your digital copy of today's free gift, simply text the keyword on your screen to 40544, or visit the web address shown on your screen, and be sure to select the digital download option on the request page. It's now easier than ever for you to study God's Word with Amazing Facts wherever and whenever you want, and most important, to share it with others.

Announcer: The statistics are grim. Millions have been infected by coronavirus. Thousands have died. Race riots have broken out on streets. Political tensions are at an all-time high. Does the Bible have anything to say about the times in which we are living?

Doug Batchelor: Hi, friends. This is Pastor Doug Batchelor. Many people are wondering if the world's about to implode. Some are fearful that global events point to a coming crisis unlike anything we've ever witnessed. Did you know the Bible book of Revelation actually speaks about the days in which we're living now? And it contains a message of hope, if we would only listen. That's why I'd like to invite you to "Revelation Now: Decoding the Bible's Greatest Prophecies." In this multi-part series, I'll be sharing relevant truths for our time from the last book in the Bible.

Announcer: Coming October 23. To learn more, visit ♪♪♪ announcer: "Amazing Facts Changed Lives."

Brittney: I was addicted to all different types of things. I finally hit rock bottom when I got pulled over one night after a heavy night of partying with some friends. I was drunk, high on Ecstasy, and I realized then that I had to make a change.

Vince: Was in the military and listening to very satanic music every day and heard this whisper to carve "666" into my knuckles. Contemplated on it a while, and I was sitting at my desk, and I had my knife on me, and I started carving the horizontal lines for the sixes into my index finger first with serrated edges and started to enjoy it. I wanted to make it known who I wanted to follow, actually, and not knowing I was following Satan at the time. Just, I thought it was a cool thing to do.

Brittney: So I met this guy online, and that was my husband, Vince, and I noticed his ears, and we started talking, and he was just adorable.

Vince: Flew down and actually met her here in Arizona.

Brittney: And, at that point, I found out quickly after we met that I was pregnant.

Vince: So shortly after our daughter was born, it was a very exciting moment, but the nurses and doctors notice something right away that she was extremely orange with jaundice.

Brittney: And she ended up in the hospital, very sick, and it was extremely hard on us. We were teenagers. We were scared. Our baby was sick. I was with someone that was very angry, and at that point, we were in the hospital room, and I remember a chaplain coming in and speaking with the people. Since it was like a conjoined room, we had a roommate, and the chaplain had said, you know, if he could pray for the other family, and that's when I knew that it was my chance. I had to take that opportunity, and I asked my husband, "Should I go talk to him?"

Vince: I said, "No way." I wanted nothing to do with God. I wanted nothing to do with talking to this chaplain.

Brittney: I decided that I was going to get up anyway, and I got up, and you could tell he was very angry that I decided to walk over, and I went to the chaplain, and I asked him to come over and speak to us, and he did.

Vince: And he came in, and we asked him questions, and he actually came to visit us every single day.

Brittney: The chaplain that we met with mentioned Amazing Facts study guides and, just, the ministries.

Vince: He showed us videos and study guides from Amazing Facts, specifically. It was on "Final Events" and "Cosmic Conflict." At that point, we had transferred hospitals to an outpatient hospital, and we were able to watch these videos, and we were hooked on them.

Brittney: It was a huge blessing. We would watch Pastor Doug, and we would sit up late at night, watching sermons, and we were just teenagers. Most kids our age were out doing crazy things, and here we are at home with popcorn and chocolate bars, watching Pastor Doug.

Ben Lundquist: This young couple came into the Camelback Church holding a beautiful little baby, and this was one of the first times that I had ever met Vince and Brittney.

Vince: We needed somebody to show us that they loved us, that they supported us, and Pastor Ben was there, giving us Bible studies on marriage counseling as well as baptism.

Brittney: I was still smoking and drinking lightly, and a few things along those lines, and it was one day when I woke up on February 15, 2011, after watching many sermons on "Amazing Facts" from Pastor Doug, and having a really solid church family, that I was able to say, "No more." And from that day on, I stopped all of my addictions.

Charles White: And, ultimately, their lives began to take on just a new dimension of congruity because Jesus was there, and He was the one that was bringing that sense of belonging and hope and help.

Brittney: We decided to get baptized and married, and we got baptized one day and married the next, and it was an amazing experience.

Ben: And we found a spot by the lake, and it was absolutely perfect. The evening was coming to a close. The sun was about ready to go down.

Vince: And we were standing on the water with Pastor Ben, and the sky was such a deep red. The reflections off the sky was almost as if we were standing in blood, we were washed in the blood of Jesus.

Ben: And that was the moment that God painted the canvas of the sky with the most beautiful colors signifying the journey that he was going to be laying out for Vince and Brittney.

Vince: Shortly after we were baptized, about a month later, we had realized that my scars were gone. I was completely healed physically of not having the "666" on my knuckles anymore, and I struggled with that for so long because of what I did, and He forgave me.

Malcolm Douglas: Many times, when we think of the way that we've been led to Christ, we think there's usually one individual, but having been able to work alongside Pastor Ben and Pastor White, it's been great to see how we've been able to work with Brittney and Vincent and seen them just really grow. And this has really been something that's been beneficial to me. You know, sometimes I think about this, and the Bible says, "More blessed is he who gives than receives," and I feel, in many times, more blessed, just seeing them and seeing all the challenges they've gone through, all the difficulties, and seeing them overcome these things, it just--it amazes me.

Vince: As I reflect back on everything I've done in my life, completely going against God, wanting nothing to do with Him, He still tried so hard as if I was the only one that was lost, just as He promises. He still went and found me even though I wanted nothing to do with Him.

Brittney: Having Amazing Facts and the pastors in our lives help us so much, it's really a blessing, and I feel like now we're happy, and we have these two healthy, beautiful, little girls, and God has truly blessed us, and I just want to share it with everyone. I want to scream it. I'm so excited, and I feel really blessed to even have this opportunity to share my story.

Doug: We're here on the beautiful coast of the island of Puerto Rico, and if you were to travel east about 2,000 miles, of course, you'd be out in the middle of the ocean. But you'd also be in the middle of a mystical sea called the Sargasso Sea. It gets its name because of this common brown seaweed that can be found floating in vast mass. The area of the Sargasso Sea is about 700 miles wide and 2,000 miles long.

Now, the seaweed itself is fascinating stuff. It was first observed and called gulfweed by Christopher Columbus. It gets the name "sargum" from the Portuguese. Some people use it as herbal remedies. But out in the middle of the Sargasso Sea the water is some of the bluest in the world. It's there you can see 200-feet deep in places. It also has a great biodiversity and ecosystem that surrounds the Sargasso Sea.

For years, scientists wondered where the American and the Atlantic eels were breeding. They knew the adult eel swam down the rivers, out into the Atlantic, but they never could find the place where they reproduced. Finally, they discovered it was out in the middle of the Sargasso Sea. So it's a fascinating place, but if you were an ancient sailor, you did not want to get stuck there.

Being caught in the doldrums was extremely difficult for the ancient sailors. Of course, their boats were driven by wind and sail, and they'd be caught in the vast mass of the seaweed that would wrap around their rudder. Barnacles would begin to grow. It's an area that is notorious for light and baffling winds, and so they'd make no progress. They'd get stuck. The men would become extremely dispirited. Sometimes, violence and even insanity would break out as people were trapped in the doldrums.

Well, friends, perhaps sometimes you've felt that you're trapped in the doldrums. You've gone through episodes of depression. You feel like you're going in circles. Life seems stifling. You know, the Bible offers good news. There is a way out. The Bible talks about a famous character that was trapped in a cycle of depression. He was low as you could be. Matter of fact, he even had seaweed wrapped around his head.

His name was Jonah. But God gave him a way of escape. In Jonah chapter 2, verse 3 through 7, we read: "For You cast me into the depths, into the heart of the seas, and the floods surrounded me. All of Your billows and Your waves passed over me. Then I said, 'I have been cast out of Your sight, yet I will look again towards Your holy temple.' The waters surrounded me, even to my soul. The deep closed around me. Weeds were wrapped around my head. I went down to the moorings of the mountains. The earth with its bars closed behind me forever, yet You've brought my life up from the pit, O Lord, my God. When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer went up to You, into Your holy temple."

You know, friends, the way that Jonah got out of his discouraging circumstances, he turned to God, and he prayed. And if God could hear Jonah's prayer, just think about it: He was as far away from God as anybody could be. He was in the belly of a sea monster in the bottom of the ocean in the dark, yet he turned to God, and God heard his prayer.

You know, these ancient sailors, when they were trapped on the deck of a ship for weeks, stuck in the doldrums, discouraged, sometimes they would have a prayer meeting and pray that God would send a breeze that would set them free and get their boats moving. They turned to God in prayer, and often miracles would happen, and the wind would flutter in the sails and bring them out of their seaweed prison.

Friends, maybe you have been stuck in the doldrums. Maybe you've been caught in a cycle of depression. If God can do it for Jonah, if He can do it for the ancient sailors, He can do it for you. Turn to the Lord in prayer. Trust His Spirit to blow through your soul and to set you free.

Male: I really started getting involved with crime, break and enters, selling drugs, stealing cars.

Male: All of us were high, drugs all over the car, paraphernalia, pipes. female: I was suicidal. I was developing an eating disorder, so, like, all these things were just coming into play.

Male: One night, I was flicking through my channels in my dorm. There was this guy, this preacher.

Male: By the end of the program, I had a complete understanding of what God's plan actually is.

Male: I started going through these Amazing Facts study guides, and I finished those, and I was so hungry, I couldn't put them down.

Male: These series helped me to see how reasonable God is.

Female: So after doing the studies and learning the truths that I had been learning, I decided to take that next step.

Male: I thank God for ministries like Amazing Facts, to a great extent, the reason why I am in the church today.

Male: Thank you.

Male: Thank you.

Female: Thank you for changing my life.

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