“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 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. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
What incredible words for moms and dads to understand and practice! We are to know and acknowledge that there is only one true God. And, that one true God is the One we are to love with all of our heart and soul and might.
Further, the one true God has spoken to us through His Word and revealed to us His will and His ways. By studying His commandments, we can know His heart and enter into a personal relationship with Him.
Further still, we are called to teach diligently all we know of God to our children. We are called to study and learn, but also to train others. This passage describes four times of teaching.
1. "When you rise"
When our children awaken, let us help them connect the gift of life to the Giver of life. The psalmist said, "I laid down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me" (Psalm 3:5). Help your children to see each day as an opportunity from God for them to learn more of Him, to worship Him, and to help others do the same.
2. "When you sit in your house"
There are times of formal and structured teaching that should be a part of the Christian home. It is good to develop a practice of setting aside time where the family is seated around the table or gathered together in the living room, and there is biblical training given. Read through books of the Bible together; read a family devotion; talk further about Sunday School lessons or Sunday sermons. See to it, moms and dads, that there is a time in your home where the family sits and studies the Scriptures.
3. "When you walk by the way"
There are other moments when you are outside enjoying your evening, and you see an opportunity to tell your children about the Lord. Maybe it is on a bike ride after a storm and your little one spots a rainbow. There is your chance to teach about God's mercy and grace. Perhaps it is while walking around the neighborhood, and your child sees a neighbor's child and comments they do not like to play with them. There is your perfect opportunity to teach the importance of loving people and showing kindness. These are moments that are not planned, and there is no set curriculum -- you just help your children connect everyday moments to the Lord.
4. "When you lie down"
Now the day is over. It is time to thank the Lord for His daily provisions and help your children end their day by thinking about God and learning how to love Him with all their heart, soul, and mind. The psalmist said, "From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised" (Psalm 113:3). Teach your children to connect the entirety of their day (from the rising of the sun until the sun goes down) to God. Show them how to thank Him for His blessings and even to praise Him for challenges and struggles (this takes some instruction and time for them to get it).
Parenting is not easy, and none of us are perfect. We are imperfect parents raising imperfect children. Yet, there is no greater reward than pointing your children to Jesus as they wake up, as you systematically teach them in the home, as you walk around the neighborhood, and as you tuck them into bed at night.
Parents, teach them diligently!
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