Over the last year, parents have certainly experienced the challenge to rise to a new level with their children where their education is concerned. Our little ones have been taught at home, through a computer screen, bused to school on only certain days of the week, and teachers have been scrambling to try to keep the pace. Sports, ballet, theatre, beta clubs… all canceled due to our current situation.
I know these are trying times for all of us, but let’s look at the amazing things God has done in the midst of it. He’s bringing us back to His Word. We can find so much peace and joy in that if we could only shift our gaze from the textbooks and chaos and look at it through His eyes. In Deuteronomy 6:7, we read,
“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 great meaning. It is to be industrious, meticulous, detailed, careful, thorough, attentive, conscientious…and the list goes on.
Many years ago, I served as an elementary teacher. You cannot merely wing-it when teaching children. I learned that fairly quickly. You have to carefully consider the educational scope of the whole year and plan accordingly. Each grade level had a list of milestones that had to be incorporated into lessons. The research I did back then for creative ideas, materials, and literature certainly required diligence. And back then, finding bible study resources for children was a huge undertaking. We ended up producing most of the material ourselves.
That experience reminds me of a responsibility the Father has given to us. We are to teach and prepare our children to walk in God’s ways; to live spiritual lives. This essential teaching, in particular, isn’t something that can be passed off to Sunday school teachers, educators, or youth pastors. If we genuinely want to raise a child after God’s own heart, we must be committed to teaching them God’s ways.
We have been given a precious gift in the midst of all we’re experiencing today. With the cancelation of extra-curricular activities, less time at school, having church at home, and no play-dates, we have much more time to prepare and educate our children according to His Word.
I know your heart desires to be a parent after God’s own heart and walk in the wisdom of Deuteronomy 6:7. So, I have a challenge for you. Here are some simple but powerful tasks you can do to expand your child’s spiritual knowledge and wisdom:
- Instruct your children in God’s ways.
- Take time to plan real lessons and activities.
- Schedule a specific amount of time and hour of the day to read the Bible with your children each day.
- Encourage your child to have time alone with God.
- Have your child keep a journal of all they’re learning and how they’re growing spiritually.
- Model to them, and coach them on ways to have daily devotions.
- Search for grade or age-appropriate books, materials, and activities to assist in their walk.
- Seek out like-minded parents with whom you can share ideas.
- Pray for your children daily and ask God to teach you how to teach them.
And for those parents on the front lines, He knows you are doing your due diligence. He knows your heart. He knows your limitations at this time. He also knows all that we do not know or consider. Ask Him to share with you the best ways to work this into your family. It may look a little less scheduled for you or a little more spontaneous, but that’s okay.
Whether you’re enjoying an evening in the backyard, having family dinner, or tucking your children in at night, it’s the perfect opportunity to sneak in a moment to teach your child about Him. Find some Bible stories for kids to read to them at night, even if they are already asleep. He will honor and multiple those investments.
So I encourage you all to take advantage of this time. Be purposeful with this gift of time and togetherness, even amidst all we’re experiencing. Deuteronomy 30:19 says,
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
When given a choice between life and death, a blessing and a curse, good and evil, positive and negative, don’t choose the latter of each. Choose life, the blessing, the good, and the positive. We can make something good out of our circumstances if we choose to walk in His ways and rest in His peace.
Father, thank you for opening my eyes to see the gift in the midst of the storm. Please help me to plan and follow through with teaching my children your ways. Help me to speak up and take every opportunity to share Your truths with them. Amen.
Jim and Elizabeth George have numerous resources available to assist you with teaching your children God's ways. Our kid's collection features books on prayer, bible study, making good choices, coloring books, story time books, and even poem books for the little ones.
What discussion or activity will you plan today to guide your child into a better understanding of God?
I encourage you all to take advantage of this time. Be purposeful with this gift of time and togetherness, even amidst all we’re experiencing.