Among several themes repeated over and over in 1 Timothy is the demand for good teaching and doctrine. Paul insists that Timothy guard the doctrines of the faith:

1 Timothy 4:6-7
6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness.

Note that Timothy’s training in godliness is identified with his training in “the words of the faith and of the good doctrine” (v. 6). Godliness requires good doctrine; anyone who rejects doctrine as important rejects godliness. We all adhere to some sort of doctrine; the question is whether it is sound doctrine or “irreverent, silly myths” (v. 7).

One chapter in Future Men, entitled “Doctrinal Meat,” has especially stood out to me. Douglas Wilson insists that boys should be taught doctrine, particularly the sovereignty of God, while growing up. Parents often refrain from this because they think their sons won’t be able to understand it, or it’s not that important, or the church will take care of it. Yet when college students grow in their faith, it’s because they’ve been challenged — for the first time — with doctrine. They’ve never thought through the gospel or the sovereignty of God or His glory. When they do, they grow in their faith like never before. This is what has happened to me, and it’ll continue to take place until the day I die and see God “face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

I feel like it’s not my place to criticize them, but really, parents and churches are doing their children a real disservice when they fail to challenge them spiritually. They’ve wasted many years of their children’s lives by putting their schooling or athletics or whatever else before their spiritual education. And then they wonder why their families have no spiritual heritage — why, even if their children become believers, they feel spiritually disconnected from their parents.