Being a parent is hard work. It can be fun, exciting, challenging, frustrating, infuriating, and joyful. But overall, it’s hard work. Parents are to take this precious, wiggly, squiggly, gift of God and help Him turn this baby into a person who will add to society and spread the gospel as God is glorified.
There are plenty of “parent-help” books out there. It’s a HUGE industry! And every “Expert” has their own way of doing things. Some advice is right on the money, others not so much. But all of those books, video series, and conferences are produced by fallible people.
I want something better.
I am SO grateful I serve a God who cares about His people and gives them directions on how to do the hard things. We are not doing this parenting job alone. We just have to be willing to sit down and study the scriptures to know what those directions are.
Look at Deuteronomy 6:4-7. It has all the advice we parents need. Let me show you…are you willing to dig deeper?
4 “ Hear, O Israel! The Lord is 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 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 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.”
1) We are to teach our kids DOCTRINAL TRUTH. They need to know the basics for a foundation of faith. Going to church, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, or Christian schools are great supplements, but God’s word says that Truth begins with parents. So we parents need to know the Truth well enough to be able to teach them to our kids. We have to be studying the Bible, not just reading it.
2) We are to model PERSONAL DEVOTION to God. When our kids see that God and spiritual growth is important to us parents, then they will see spiritual things as something to pursue. Do your kids walk in on you during your quiet time? Do you pray with your kids on a regular basis about all kinds of things? Does your family go to church or small group as a whole?
3) Our children need BIBLICAL KNOWLEDGE. How much time do you and your children spend on memorizing verses? Can your children recite the books of the Bible? Do they know how the Bible was written and by whom? Do you know the answers to these questions? I’m working on learning these types of things myself so that I can then help my children memorize scripture and have those words in our hearts so that we might not sin against God.
4) We are to SYSTEMATICALLY TEACH our children about the ways of God. This is more of a formal way of teaching, perhaps through sermons at church and Family Bible Times at home. When my kids get older, I plan to devise some age appropriate ways to get them to think about the sermons at church. My husband and I already ask the kids what they learned in Sunday School and Children’s Church. My husband and I also need to be more consistent with our Family Bible Times.
5) Lastly, we need to take advantage of as many TEACHABLE MOMENTS as possible. This is a less formal way of teaching. This is teaching in daily living. You are familiar with these moments. These are the times when we discuss the TV show that is being watched, or how a person reacted to a situation, or how the child disobeyed, or when a child is scared. Parents must make sure they know the scriptures well enough so the Holy Spirit can help us bring appropriate scriptures to mind when we need them on the spot. These are those magic moments when we teach God in the little things. And then those little things build that young person into a pillar of strength when (s)he needs God the most.
So there you have it. Parents have 5 things to do. No, it isn’t as easy as a check list, but it is a foundation of godly wisdom that we parents need in an ever changing world that spins way too fast.