Deuteronomy 6:7”and you shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up.”
Isn’t it funny, God’s direction to us is to “diligently teach” the scriptures to our sons (children) … not to be diligent to make sure they go to church, not to be diligent about making sure the Bible is read in school, but to be diligent to TEACH them?
Look too, at where and how we are to teach them … “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 up.”
Now lest any may misunderstand, please know that having your children (in fact your entire family) habitually involved in church activities and services multiple times a week is an absolutely marvelously excellent way of life! The writer of Hebrews stated this very eloquently when he wrote in 10:23-25”Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”
There is a joy that comes from participating in organized meetings that are about instilling hope, love and good deeds into the lives of people. David said it this way in Psalms 122:1 “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD.'”
Liberation, empowerment and strength are realized through the purposeful act of going to spend time in the praise and worship of our Creator and Savior! Which is why David also encouraged us in Psalm 132:7 “Let us go into His dwelling place; Let us worship at His footstool.”
At the same time, if our Christianity is about going to church, then it becomes something we do, and not who we are. Also, if we leave the teaching of scriptures to our children for the church or school, we have shirked an enormous part of our responsibility as Christian parents. That is not what God intended. How can I speak so boldly of God’s intentions? Because in Deuteronomy 6:7 God commands us to be Christian everywhere and all the time … “when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
In addition, God lays the responsibility of teaching scripture to children squarely on the shoulders of their parents … “you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them”.
WOW! That’s a big burden to lay on someone! I mean, not everyone is a Bible scholar, and life is already so busy just taking care of the kids and meeting their physical needs. Soooo… how is an already frazzled parent supposed to add scripture teaching to their over-packed schedule!?!
Once again, the answer to this quandary is found in Deuteronomy 6:7 “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 up.” You don’t have to add to your schedule, but simply use the moments you already have to your advantage. For example:
We don’t so much walk now-a-days, but when you add up all the “to and fro” time, we do spend lots of hours traveling. I would venture to say that for most Americans, that means time in a car. Well, what occupies that time? Is it silence? Is it keeping everyone busy with books or electronic gadgets such as games or videos?
How about replacing silence with talking about scriptures? Start simple by engaging everyone in remembering details of a well known Bible stories. As time goes on, start keeping a Bible in the car and challenge someone to look-up, confirm and/or add to the details. What an incredible way to have family time and TEACH SCRIPTURE.
As for busy activities, what books are the children reading, or what videos are they watching? What electronic games are they playing? These questions are extremely critical, because whatever they are spending all these traveling hours on, is what is getting lodged in their brain and forming their thought processes.
It is absolutely essential to know what children are ingesting through their eyes and ears, and unfortunately a little extra effort is required to take the time to actually read, view and even play their books, videos and games. One thing that can help is finding trusted sources. Ask Sunday School Teachers and Children’s Pastors what sources they use. Visit Christian Book/Supply Stores in your area. Checkout the resource pages on web-sites such as, www.sonpoweredpub.com, www.goodseedcreation.com, www.discoveryandfun.com or www.focusonthefamily.com.
The point is, God wants us to “teach them diligently”, starting now! So don’t delay, get on your way!