“以撒生下来第八日，亚伯拉罕照着神所吩咐的，给以撒行了割礼。” – 创 21:4
那等待已久的儿子终于诞生了。以撒的出生，令亚伯拉罕和撒拉感到万分高兴。然而，这个不寻常的新生命却给父母带来新的责任，而亚伯拉罕也非常重视这些责任。首先，他按神的命令为以撒行割礼。当以撒渐渐长大时，亚伯拉罕教导他的儿子遵守主的道（参看创世记 18:19）。后来，亚伯拉罕也要求仆人协助他寻找一个合适的女子与以撒结为夫妇（创世记 24章）。尽管已经年纪老迈，亚伯拉罕仍然尽力与下一代分享他对神的信心。
神设立家庭，作为培养小孩子信心的环境：他们从中感受到神温暖的爱、在衪的话语上受造就、受到家人保护，不致被外界影响被伤害或摧毁。小孩子像幼嫩的植物，他们特别容易受到伤害，所以他们需要有人不间断地照顾。这些都是敬虔的父母承担的责任 － 为他们提供一个注入信心和鼓励灵命长进的环境。（参看申命记 6:1 – 9）。
“When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him.” – Genesis 21:4
The long-awaited son finally arrived. Abraham and Sarah were overjoyed at Isaac’s birth. Yet this stunning birth came with new responsibilities, which Abraham took seriously. First, he circumcised Isaac, as God commanded. And as Isaac grew, Abraham instructed his son in the ways of the Lord (see Genesis 18:19). Later Abraham also helped to find the right woman for Isaac to marry (Genesis 24). Despite his advanced age, Abraham diligently worked to share his faith in God with the next generation.
God instituted the home to be an environment where children can be raised to grow in faith: warmed by God’s love, nurtured in his Word, and protected from influences that would damage or destroy. Like tender vegetation, children are especially vulnerable and in need of constant care. This is where godly parents come in—providing an environment that instills faith and encourages spiritual growth. (See also Deuteronomy 6:1-9.)
If we are parents, we can’t pass along what we don’t have. To pass faith along, we need to have a deep love for God that helps to shape the rhythms of family life. This includes intentional times of spiritual training as well as informal conversations about God and his love as we go about our lives each day.
Father, may we create holy habits that bolster our love for you. Help parents and other family members to plant seeds of faith in children’s lives, that you may bring the increase. Amen.