- Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 20-24, "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again. Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates...In the future your children will ask you, 'What is the meaning of these stipulations, laws, and regulations that the LORD our God has given us?' Then you must tell them, 'We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with amazing power. Before our eyes the LORD did miraculous signs and wonders, dealing terrifying blows against Egypt and Pharaoh and all his people. He brought us out of Egypt so he could give us this land he had solemnly promised to give our ancestors. And the LORD our God commanded us to obey all these laws and to fear him for our own prosperity and well-being, as is now the case." (NLT)
Repeat, repeat, repeat Sheila! Just use the everyday situations of life to talk about God's word with your kids. Note to self: This doesn't me don't plan. Plan what you want to talk about, what scriptures you want to repeat. Plan what everyday experiences in life you're going to draw from and then go for it! And when things come up, or your kids ask questions, use those moments too, letting God's own work in your life speak to them.
- Deuteronomy 32:46-47a, "Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe--all the words of this law. For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life..." (NKJV)
Set your own heart on God's word Sheila! Apply it to you first, then command your children to be careful to apply it to themselves. And no matter what you see- tantrums, fits, eye-rolling, lack of support, frustration...etc.,- believe that it is not futile, not vain, not a worthless effort to teach your kids God's word! It's not only not vain, IT'S YOUR LIFE!
- 1 Corinthians 4:14-17a, " I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me. For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ..." (NKJV)
If you love your kids Sheila, you'll let the sword of the Spirit do it's surgery on your kids' hearts. You won't use the word with the intent to shame them, but you'll warn them and rebuke them, just as you would in regards to any other law in all creation. Don't worry about who or how your kids will be taught. For though Connor and Ryland might have ten thousand "teachers," you can be their mother of their souls. You can be the one in which God would bear again through gospel Connor and Ryland. Be their spiritual parent, not just a teacher of the Bible. Live out the gospel so that you can urge Connor and Ryland to imitate you. And in turn you'll be able to send out your "Timothys" to others who will spread the ways of Christ they've learned and caught from you.
- Ephesians 6:4, "And you, fathers (in Greek means parents) , do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."
Don't nag your kids Sheila! Don't pick on every little thing. Train them like a coach and speak with the authority of God to lead their lives in the Lord.
- 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12, "But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory."
Be gentle with their souls. Don't lay on them heavy things they can't bear. Just feed them the pure milk of the word. Give them the good news and give them your life. Labor and toil, bear the burden, do the work, the preparation, the planning, the praying, the fasting, the getting up early, the staying up late, the digging in God's word, the getting down on your knees and playing and picking up and modeling respect and all godliness...do all these things so as not to be a pharisee to your kids, demanding that they be godly, when they are a sinner just like you. Feed them God's word. Exhort, comfort and charge your kids that they would then live out a life that brings glory to the God who calls them into His own kingdom.
- 2 Timothy 1:5, "when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also."
The genuine faith must be in me first! Whatever I set out to teach my kids, I must sit at my Father's feet first and let His labor on the cross, His table which is set before me in the presence of my enemies, His encouragement by the Spirit, the meat of His word and the trials of life feed and purify me.
*Image by Art.com