How to Spiritually Train Children
"These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart" (Deuteronomy 6:6). Kids spot phonies right away. My children know that their daddy isn't perfect. But none will say that their dad — or their mom — is a phony. They know we have our faults, but they know that God's Word is truly in our hearts.
"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" (Deuteronomy 6:7).
God's Word must be taught creatively. Unfortunately, believers often teach by the old axiom, "You sit still while I instill." That's not the way God's Word is to be taught. The Bible is to be taught creatively, when you go in and out of the house, when you wake up in the morning, when you go to bed at night.
How do you do it? Well there certainly has to be a set time for family Bible reading. But other methods are available. My family has a wonderful time playing Bible Trivia — my granddaughter sometimes beats me! There are also other fun methods you can use to teach creatively — Bible memory, Christian music, and the like.
"Teach them diligently unto thy children" (Deuteronomy 6:7). The word diligently in this verse means "consistently." It's easy to start and stop, then start and stop again. But God's Word calls us to a high standard of consistency.
The Prophet Isaiah gave a method for teaching God's truth: "Precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little" (Isaiah 28:10).
"Teach consistently," Isaiah said. Here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept. Stick with it day by day, and the cumulative effect is very powerful in people's lives.
"Thou...shalt talk of them..." (Deuteronomy 6:7). God calls us not merely to recite His instructions but to talk of them. Wise parents and grandparents find countless ways daily to apply the Word of God. Teaching the Bible to children isn't like giving them cod liver oil — a dose a day keeps the devil away. Faith is caught as well as taught. And it's caught during normal conversation on a day by day basis as parents apply the Word of God to all of life's situations.
"And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes" (Deuteronomy 6:8). Making God's commands frontlets between our eyes means controlling all our thoughts in light of God's Word. Binding His precepts to our hands means bringing all our actions into conformity with the Bible. In other words, teaching conspicuously means thinking and acting according to God's Word — every waking hour.
That includes how we decorate our houses. "And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates" (v. 9). To teach children conspicuously, our houses should have Scriptural mottos, pictures, and other furnishings that remind our children of Jesus.
Here's good news for parents: Follow God's foundation for the family's future, and you can count on His promise for your family's future. Obey His Word in your family, and it truly will be well with you, your children, and your children's children after you.
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