Shouldn’t all of us be training our children? It may be that we are living in a time that is unparalleled as to challenges facing the home and family. The internet has added challenges that no generation has had to face. Things like the amount of debt carried by the average family, work schedules where both parents are employed, the never ending barrage of entertainment, and a mindset that is unfriendly to success in the home are all challenges that no previous generation has faced, at least to this extent. Perhaps, in the past, if a parent was less that successful, success could be promoted from other arenas. Teachers in school or other family members were much more apt to “get involved” and work to impart character and ethics and even spiritual training. Those days have pretty much ceased. In this hour, if we as parents do not train our children, no one will! So, I am just simply asking again – shouldn’t all of us be training our children?
In my last post (here), I reminded us that it takes time to train our children. It also takes commands, laws, and directions. Today, I would like to add one more. It takes teaching. Consider Deuteronomy 6. The entire chapter is worth reading slowly and carefully and reflectively. The author writes these kind of things:
Verse 2: That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life . . .
Verse 5-7: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shat talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
This chapter has been an amazing help to me! I have to keep God’s Word and impart that word to my kids and grandkids. Here is how to do it.
- I need to love God with all my heart and soul and might.
That is pretty simple isn’t it? Do you love God that way? Is He first in your life and in your marriage and in your business dealings? Can your children see that? “If any man love God, the same is known of Him.”
2. I need to hide His word in my heart and live it.
I need a daily devotional life. I need to “think” God’s word and apply it in my daily life. My children need to see evidence that the Word of God is vital to me. I need to be an active hearer and an active doer of it (James 1:21-27). I need to be faithful to church. This isn’t a “spooky” matter. It is simply a matter of me loving God and His Word and living it happily in my life. “Serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2). “Oh how love I thy law . . .” (Psalm 119:97).
Notice that teaching my children begins with me! Perhaps this is why so many parents fail in our generation. If I don’t love God, I cannot teach my children to love Him. If I am not learning His word and living it, I cannot teach my children to do so!
3. I need to teach my children to love God and to live his word in their heart and life as well.
This passage says I should do it “diligently.” That is quite a word. All of us have been to a restaurant where the staff aren’t very diligent. They aren’t engaged. They aren’t focussed. Have you ever been served by a “diligent” waiter? The difference is almost astonishing! That is how I am to be training my children. Diligently. Focused. Intently. On purpose. And here is the best part. I am to to it right alongside of my normal life. As I go to bed and get out of bed and sit in my house and walk through life,I am to be teaching. What should you do when you are watching a movie or the news? Teach. What should you do when a beer commercial is aired? Teach. What should you do when a billboard advertises immodesty and other wickedness? Teach. What should you do when your kids comment on some random matter during a meal? Teach. In other words, take every opportunity to impart truth to your children. Take them with you on errands and teach! Work together doing dishes and teach. Wash the car. Cut down a tree. Split wood. Work out together and teach! Memorize verses together. We teach verses before each meal by simply saying the same verse every meal for a week. We teach a few verses each night before bed simply by following the same routine. This passage in Deuteronomy encourages us to write the Word of God and display it. Put verses on walls and on mirrors and in lunch boxes and in gym bags. Text verses and post verses. We have verses “decorating” the walls of our home. My friend, Evangelist Micah Self, has even taught my sons to write Bible verse references on the back of their hand!
Simply put, none of us will succeed as parents unless we are teaching our children. So how are you doing? Are you “diligently” training your children? You only have about 18 years, so get at it. Trust me, you will be glad you did.
Thanks for reading.