Hooray! The kids are back to school and parents get a break, right? Not so fast — God calls us to teach our children to have a heart for Him, not just educate them in the world’s strategies. But how do we do that?
Deuteronomy 6:7 says, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” The word diligent carries a lot of meaning — to be industrious, meticulous, careful, thorough, attentive, conscientious…
I was once an elementary teacher. I quickly learned that you cannot merely wing-it when teaching children. I had to think ahead about the year’s l schedule. I searched for materials and creative ideas. I planned out each lesson.
Likewise, God gives us the job to prepare our children in their spiritual lives. We cannot leave this vital teaching to Sunday school teacher or educators. All parents seeking to raise a child after God’s own heart must be committed to the teaching of God’s ways.
If you are in this position, shouldn’t you be committed to:
- Instructing your children in God’s ways?
- Planning to some extent how you will accomplish this goal?
- Scheduling a time each day for some kind of formal Bible time?
- Encouraging your child to have some time alone with God?
- Coaching them in ways to have daily devotions?
- Searching for age-appropriate materials and fellow parents ideas for helping children grow?
- Praying daily about this mission from God, this teacher role He has personally given you?
In his book Shepherding a Child’s Heart, author Tedd Tripp gives this challenge to parents:
“You shepherd your child on God’s behalf. The task God has given you is not one that can be conveniently scheduled. It is a pervasive task. Training and shepherding are going on whenever you are with your children. Whether waking, walking, talking or resting, you must be involved in helping your child to understand life, himself and his needs from a biblical perspective.”
Wherever and whenever the two of you are together is God’s opportunity for you to teach your child about Him. So take advantage and be purposeful with the gift of such times. But, if they are too few and far between, plan, schedule, and determine to make them happen as if it were your most important job on earth — for it is!
Question: What discussion or activity will you plan today to guide your child into a better understanding of God?
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