Parents play a key role in helping their kids trust the word of God.
If you believe every word of Scripture is truth, your kids will, at the very least, consider that possibility themselves.
One of the most devastating arguments that took place in our American culture occurred in the early 1980s. (Is that the decade of your birth?) The largest denomination in our country split over the use of the word inerrancy, the belief that the Bible is without error or fault in its teaching.
Interestingly, the generation born in the 1980s has a much lower percentage of people who believe the Bible is completely true.
Does it matter what parents say and believe about the Bible?
Do we really believe what the Bible says?
Pew Research surveyed American Christians. The statistics are telling.
- Majorities in all adult age groups say they believe in God or some other higher power, ranging from 83 percent of eighteen- to twenty-nine-year-olds to 96 percent of those ages fifty to sixty-four.
- But young adults are far less likely than their older counterparts to say they believe in God as described in the Bible. Just 49 percent of those in their thirties and forties and 43 percent of adults under thirty say they believe in the biblical God. Roughly two-thirds of adults ages fifty and older say the same.
- A similar share of adults between eighteen to twenty-nine say they believe in another higher power (39 percent).
According to current research, less than half of you reading this article believe the Bible is completely true.
The reason this is important for Christian parents is that, if the current trend continues, less than 20 to 30 percent of your kids will believe the Bible is perfectly true.
Does that really matter?
It matters to God. Therefore, it needs to matter to us and to our kids.
How can you trust the Bible?
What claims does the Bible make about its truth, relevance, and reliability?
- The Bible claims to be uniquely true. “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20–21).
- The Bible claims it will be true forever. “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever” (Psalm 119:160).
- The Bible is essential for understanding and righteousness. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17).
My son, Ryan, wrote “Teens Read the Bible Like Their Parents. Is That Good News?”
I would love for all of you to read his thoughts. He has a five-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son. Ryan is also a seminary graduate, completing a PhD in church history. He was a child of the eighties, and I think his words will speak to all of you.
Does the Bible matter to you?
The bottom line is this: It is crucial that you believe the Bible is God’s holy and perfect word. Your belief will not guarantee your child’s, but it will be their earliest impression of God’s word and their most important example.
One of my greatest blessings in life is the fact that both of my children grew up to believe God’s word and consider its truths completely trustworthy. They are both in ministry today.
How will the Bible impact your children? Psalm 19:7 gives you a glimpse: “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”
Let’s work to raise children who will be wise and faithful adults. Begin by assessing your own relationship with God’s word. It matters to you, and it will absolutely matter to your kids.
I’ve spent most of my life teaching Scripture. I’ll boil those years down into this one statement:
I know the Bible is true—and that knowledge has made all the difference.