Remove one crucial element, and society falls apart.
A grandfather once told me about an experience with his ten-year-old grandson. Grandad asked the boy, “So, what are you studying in school these days?” to which his grandson replied, “Did you know there is acid in a person’s stomach, but it doesn’t eat a hole in it?” Grandad told him, “Yes, that is marvelous! It is how God made us as human beings.” He was dismayed when the boy responded, “Grandad, we don’t do the God thing at our house!”
And it was true. No awareness of God was being included in the upbringing of this boy or his siblings.
Fast-forward to today’s streets in so many cities across the world—as major property damage, looting, and bloodshed become rampant, it is obvious that vast swaths of people have grown up without “doing the God thing.” Lack of reverence for God inevitably leads to a lack of respect for those made in His image. This results in, among many other deplorable acts, obscene language screamed at authorities and crass slogans spray-painted on buildings and monuments. Such hatred reveals a complete disregard not only for the property of others, but for their very lives.
It was all so predictable. A generation that ignores the need for two-parent households, champions self-indulgence, shames those who dare to discipline, belittles high standards of personal conduct, and actively teaches its children to engage in violence, filthy language, and sexual promiscuity, breeds a culture consumed by moral rot.
Anciently, God revealed the standards of what is right and what is wrong. These ten basic rules for human activity are found in Exodus 20:1–17 and Deuteronomy 5:6–21. After making these rules abundantly clear, God gave an awesome responsibility to parents everywhere:
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them to your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up (Deuteronomy 6:6–9).
This covers just about all human activity as parents use daily routines to teach their children how to consistently obey God, thereby preparing them for a spiritually abundant and fulfilling life. Solomon wrote, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
There were periods when the Israelites obeyed their Creator, and as a result were blessed with peace and prosperity. More often, however, they did not obey and suffered the consequences. Down through time, there have been a few individuals who have persevered in putting these ways into practice. In the first century AD, Jesus of Nazareth, God in the flesh, reaffirmed the validity of His laws: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
Earlier in time, David of Israel—a shepherd, poet, musician, and king—wrote, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). One has no excuse in denying the existence of God, as David made plain. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard” (Psalm 19:1–3).
The importance of teaching and training the next generation is reaffirmed in the New Testament. In his letter to the church at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul gave instruction to fathers regarding their children, that they should “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4, King James Version).
Seize the opportunity to teach your children “the God thing”—knowledge of the Creator and His rules for mankind. In the Kingdom of God, which will be ushered in at Jesus Christ’s imminent return, this will be done across the world, and all violence, destruction, and misery will be eliminated. God speed that day!