She was pregnant and expecting her first child. Like all mothers, she was concerned about what others might think, but there was no way she could not be excited about what was about to happen. Then it hit her. This gift from God was His, and she and Joseph were only caretakers with the responsibility to train up the child so this gift could be given back to God.
What do you teach that child? What values do you give to prepare the child for the trials which lie ahead? What expectant mother has not had these thoughts? As you think about these matters, consider that these same responsibilities were faced by Mary the mother of Jesus. Read Matthew 4 to see what Mary taught Jesus as she trained Him in the way He should go.
A child must be taught the meaning of life. When Satan appealed to Jesus to live by the rule of self-gratification, to fulfill the lust of the flesh, and to make that the dominant force which controlled His life, He was ready! He had learned one important truth in His upbringing: “Man shall not live by bread alone.” If one lives by the rule of self-gratification, he misses life. The only way for man to live is to understand that every word which God speaks gives life!
A child must be taught that God is more important than material things. The Lord was offered all the treasures of this world, but He turned them down. Those who had trained Him for life put in His heart that only God is to be worshipped. “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Look at the two verbs—worship and serve. They cover not just formal times of adoring God, but aspects of daily living. When one craves material things, they become his lord and he becomes subservient to them. A child must know that materialism cannot become a master!
A child must be taught about the nature of God. Satan’s misuse of the Bible did not confuse Jesus for a moment, for He knew God. He had not just been taught the Word of God, He had been taught the nature of God. He did not just know about God, He knew God!
Let me encourage all young mothers and fathers (the same could apply to “expectant” grandmothers and grandfathers). Look at the child of yours as Mary looked at the child God gave to her. He was simply a gift from heaven, loaned and entrusted to her for a short time, with the grave responsibility to prepare the child for the next time the child would see God. Prepare your child! Teach him the Bible. Teach him about life, about “things,” and about Him.
—Dan Jenkins, Palm Beach Lakes