Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt 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. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
I found myself today, as I often do; beginning a conversation with the phrase, “my dad taught us.” I continued with a conversation about biblical principles my dad taught my siblings and me. My dad was very intentional in making sure we were equipped with principles for life from the Word of God.
God commanded His children in Deuteronomy to educate their children in His principles! This passage provides several key words that show us the importance of teaching our children God’s principle, as well as how to teach them.
The idea of diligence, according to the dictionary, is: “careful and persistent work or effort.” Diligence is an action word! We must actively be teaching our children about God and His ways. We will fail if we assume that having our kids at weekly church service and seeing mom and dad have a personal walk with God, will be enough to help our children grow to be wise! We must put in the work to actively communicate them!
The passage covers all bases: if you’re standing, sitting, or lying– or in other words, always. This passage urges us to teach all the time. We must use every opportunity we have to communicate God’s principles to our children! Times in the car, at home, on family vacations, etc., are excellent principle-teaching opportunities! Teaching our children isn’t something that we can decide to compartmentalize! This must be a continuous aspiration!
My dad would often say (there I go again), “Nothing happens by osmosis!” If we plan to raise Godly children in 2021, it will only happen intentionally! God here communicates to parents that they must be intentional: write it on your hands, put it up on your fence, and keep it before your eyes!
Here are a few suggestions of things my dad did to intentionally make time to teach God’s principles:
• Eat dinner together.
No, this one isn’t a biblical command. However, with Dad at work, Mom busy, and the children at school all day, this is a unique opportunity for everyone to be together and for Dad as the leader to raise his children around the dinner table!
5:00 was dinner time for us! No one was to be late. This was a time my dad could teach us as well as get a gauge on how everyone was doing.
• Have a family altar.
Family alter is a time when the family gets together to read God’s Word and pray—together! This is an intentional, designated time to teach God's Word to our children. If you have never done it before, it might be awkward to start, but it will prove very rewarding!
• Go out with your children one on one.
My dad had eight of us; not exactly cheaper by the dozen, but close. Even with our large family, my dad took time to spend with us individually. We would have fun, grab a bite to eat, or some snacks, which would open avenues for him to teach and direct us! Each of your children has different personalities and needs. Personal time spent merits the attention of your child to instruct them.
Let us not make the mistake of making any move, or taking any action, unless we have gone to God and gotten some counsel about it.
A biblical template I use and that I have been taught when it comes to proving my music.