8. How does God carry out his decrees?
God carries out his decrees in the works of creation and providence.
11. What are God’s works of providence?
God’s works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful preservation and control of all his creatures, and all their actions.
12. What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the state in which he was created?
When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, on condition of perfect obedience, forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil on penalty of death.
– The Westminster Shorter Catechism (1646 and 1647)
Today, one of my daughters told me that understanding the doctrine of predestination lowers her stress levels. When I inquired more – because I thought I heard a hint of Pelagianism mixed in with her Augustinianism – I found that she is resting on God’s providence daily. This is a joy to me as a father.
It seems that part of the Lord’s great grace to Pam and me was giving us copies of Starr Meade’s, Training Hearts, Teaching Minds, and Comforting Hearts, Teaching Minds, to use in devotions with our children – ad nauseam for them! – when they were younger and in their formative years. I’m not even sure how the earlier resource landed in our laps, leading us later to the second, but I am grateful for them. Without these resources, I’m also not sure how I would have taught the children theology systematically and simply rather than abstractly and randomly or haphazardly.
My three oldest seemed to have latched onto the catechisms’ teaching on the providence of God more than anything else – which is good! One of the three also latched onto explaining the doctrine of the Trinity very strongly. Asthanasius and the Westminster framers would rejoice to see that their labors still yield fruit for Christ.
I would wish for every Christian parent of toddlers and pre-schoolers to grab hold of Starr Meade’s resources, or something very much like them. Children need to start learning strong, sound theology very early in life. We have a responsibility to pass on the faith to our children, and to prepare them to stand on the truth.