You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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. ESV Deuteronomy 6:7
Parenting never stops. We have to remind our children of the same things nearly every day. Many days it feels we make no progress. Whether it’s potty training, homework, internet use, friends or money management, we daily encourage our children to make wise choices and reap the benefits of those choices. We warn them of the consequences of making bad choices. We walk with them through the pain when they make poor choices and encourage them to make better choices in the future. At times we feel we are making no progress–perhaps even moving backwards. In what ways does this challenge shape our spiritual formation?
Perhaps God knew we would face this struggle. After all, He has been parenting us since creation. No sooner had He placed Adam and Eve in the garden and given them instruction than they chose to go away from Him. He then had to lay out the consequences of their decision and give them more instruction in how to live in a fallen world. Perhaps this personal experience in parenting us led God to instruct us through Moses to constantly teach His laws to our children. God commands us to teach our children when we sit in out house, when we walk, when we lie down and when we rise. In other words we teach around the dinner table, in the car, at bedtime and over breakfast. We have four opportunities each day to discuss God’s great impact on our lives. While the breakfast conversation may be a disaster, we can follow up with discussion on the way to school. If that doesn’t work, we can discuss God’s ways over dinner. If that doesn’t work, we have another opportunity at bedtime to urge our children to walk in God’s ways. We then repeat the plan the next day.
While nothing we do can guarantee our children walk with the Lord Jesus, this four-step, never-give-up approach will definitely make some impact on our children. May I encourage you to take every opportunity to discuss with your children what God has done in your life. You won’t regret it.