The Family

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS Lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.


For use: Oct. 4 – 10

Texts: Genesis 3:1-15; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24; Ephesians 4:15; 1 John 3:18; Deuteronomy 6


Last March, many busy parents dropped everything to become online teacher’s aides as schools moved from in-person classes to distance learning. Though many of those parents and teachers saw bumps and glitches in the transition, some were able to manage the process fairly smoothly. Carey Baptist Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia, is one of those success stories. In an interview with The Educator, Principle Jonathan Walter identifies parents’ expertise as a key to success.

“For the first time, parents have essentially been in the classroom with their children. Moving forward, this relationship allows us opportunities to draw on the expertise of our parents in their professions, to extend Carey’s offering beyond the traditional boundaries of the school,” says Walter. “The ability to tap into a hugely creative and expert group of parents and have our students learn from their real-world experiences will deepen the program and make it richer for everyone. Having strong relationships hugely enhances student wellbeing, and we know that there is an interrelationship between wellbeing and quality learning.”

We can deduce from the biblical narrative that the original classroom was Eden, the first students were Adam and Eve, and God was their divine Teacher. The model that God initiated has continued through the ages. Though classrooms have evolved and teaching is now a profession, the process remains the same: the previous generation passes knowledge and wisdom along to the next generation. Parents and even older siblings are still key components in that education process.

Even though we currently rely on school systems and professional educators to equip our children, the family unit is still the main training ground. Children learn their parenting skills (for good or ill) from how their parents raise them. They learn marriage skills from observing how their parents relate to each other. In addition, they learn general relationship skills as they interact with all of the other members of the home. Through our family relationships, we essentially learn who we are as inhabitants of this planet and as future occupants of God’s kingdom.


For Reflection

Connecting: What would you say is the most important life lesson you learned at home? Did your education at home include a knowledge of God and the plan of salvation? How did your family life prepare you for life in our current society?

SharingWhat do you believe is the best way to help children develop a saving relationship with Jesus?

  1. We shouldn’t teach them anything about God—it’s best if they discover God on their own without parental interference
  2. Living a consistent Christian life at home will make the greatest impression on them
  3. Children will learn best by regularly attending worship services and children’s Sabbath School classes
  4. Parochial school will teach them everything they need to make a decision to follow Christ
  5. A consistent combination of a Christian home life, church, and school is the best plan
  6. Other:

Applying: How would you help a new family in your congregation learn to make their home a center of Christian influence? What could you and your group do to model an effective Christian home life for them?

Valuing: Honestly evaluate the learning environment you experienced in your home of origin. Did you learn good life skills from your family? Share your thoughts with one other person (through an online connection, if necessary) and pray for each other to continue growing as Christian influences in all of your relationships.

~ Chuck Burkeen

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