Don’t Ever Stop Teaching God’s Word
The LORD, through Moses, said (Deuteronomy 6:6–7):
And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up.
And that, dear friends, is still a responsibility we have today. How do we carry out that responsibility of teaching God’s Word to our children?
We have Sunday School … where we bring our children for instruction in God’s Word, to learn about sin and salvation. Someone else does the teaching, but it is because we have delegated that person to teach our children. It is still our responsibility.
We also teach God’s Word to our children at home. This is where the vast majority of teaching will be done (Sunday School is only one hour per week). At home we teach God’s Word through our family devotions. Do we have them? Do we use our Bibles, our children’s devotion books, our “Meditations” booklets, or some other type of devotions? And do we do this on a regular basis and not just when it’s convenient or we manage to remember?
We also teach God’s Word through our discipline. We can teach our children that just as God disciplines us because he loves us, so also we discipline our children because we love them. We can use those times to speak about Jesus’ forgiveness, not just ours.
And our personal example is just as important as anything else in living God’s Word—how we conduct our lives, what we say, what we do. For example, do we go to Bible class to learn God’s Word after telling our children that it’s important for them to go to Sunday School? (And I’m not just talking about you parents who have children here in Sunday School—what about all you other adults? What sort of example are you setting for all our young people? Are you showing them that once you’re older you’re done with studying God’s Word in that sort of setting?) Furthermore, do we demonstrate forgiveness and understanding toward others or become infuriated and rant and rave when someone does something wrong to us or gets us upset? Do we “put the best construction on everything” as we interpret the actions of someone else? Children, especially young ones, learn more by example than words.
Let’s not treat God’s Word like a fire extinguisher, using it only in times of crisis or emergency. Let’s not treat God’s Word like a relative who only comes around once in a while and for whom we clean the house especially well. Let’s make using and learning God’s Word an everyday thing!
Yes, it is a big responsibility we have in teaching our children God’s life-giving Word. And it’s just as important that we learn God’s Word throughout our entire lives. But remember that “life-giving” aspect of God’s Word—we are not on our own! Only God through his Word gives us the strength, the motivation, the ability to teach his Word—through it he gives life.