As the new year rolls in it is always prudent to give consideration to what old thing we should leave behind and what new endeavor we should begin. A new year is an unmistakable providence. We cannot avoid it and we cannot avoid the questions it asks.

What wicked old habit or pet sin will you once and for all leave behind? What evil manner have you fed and sheltered, allowing it to grow too old that must not see the light of another year?

What good and noble practice have you neglected too long? What holy seed will you finally start sewing this year to address the barrenness you find around you - perhaps in you - barren fields of biblical knowledge, barren fields of obedience in worship, barren fields of devotion to God at home, barren fields of self-denial and cross bearing? (Galatians 6:7-8).

Of the many good things worthy of your attention, I would like to stress just one - calling your family to be centered upon the word of God.

It says in Deuteronomy 6:4-7, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."

The people of God are a people devoted to the word of the Lord. There is no other way to know the Lord, glorify and enjoy the Lord, but by believing and doing all that is in his holy word. Thus the people of God are a people suspicious and wary of the world's ideas and the world's platitudes and the world's incessant noisy speeches. The word of the Lord is the treasure of all fathers and mothers who know the Lord, the treasure they desperately wish to pass down to their children by teaching them.

For fathers and mothers to share this inheritance so their children can live-well off of its great value, three simple things need to happen.

First, parents must know what is in the word of God, that is, its content. This is accomplished by Bible reading. Second, parents must know what the content of the scripture means, that is, they must interpret it correctly to their children. This is accomplished through a good catechism. Thirdly, parents must create a venue for instruction, that is, a time and place where they gather their children to their side and teach God's word. This is accomplished through frequent family worship at home.

If such a good seed well sown is part of your plans for the coming year, then you are likely interested in thinking more, reading more and planning more on how to execute your aspirations. Here is a helpful article from Pastor Kim Riddlebarger on the subject. He pulls all three essential matters - content, interpretation, and venue - together with wisdom and wit.

Click here for his article, "The Importance and Practice of Catechism"