Your children have been entrusted to you by God. He blessed you with children so that you would bring glory and honor to Him by raising them to glorify Him. We typically have four specific times during the day that we are able to impart spiritual instruction to them.
…Talk about them [the commands of God] when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. – Deuteronomy 6:7
The first time is while you sit at home. Some one is saying right now, at this moment, “Sit at home? When are any of us ever home long enough to sit?” This can be incredibly difficult for the busy family, but it is something that is essential for the spiritual growth of your family and children. You may need to make some sacrifices or even give something up. Being involved and active is great but the spiritual discipline of your family has to come first.
There are a couple of you that may be saying, “Alright, our family can take some time to sit together. But what do we do next? Little Johnny and Little Susie can only sit for so long (3 min) before they are arguing.” Here are just a couple of options:
o Read a passage of Scripture and then talk about it.
o Play a game together
o Sing some songs with one another
The next part of the passage covers the “when you walk along the road” section. This is referring to the times “in-between” or transition times, such as when you are in the car traveling from point a to point b. Use these opportunities to briefly bring up what was covered in your morning devotional or what may have been covered the night before during your family worship time. As parents we all understand that when we are going about the business of handling our day-to-day activities we face situations that can be a teaching opportunity for our children. Did that person cut you off while driving? Did that clerk short you fifty cents? Did the dry cleaners ruin your favorite suit? How are you reacting to these situations and what are you teaching your children from your reactions? Here’s a potential learning situation:
You’re driving along and someone cuts you off
You: Wow. That was a close one. [Child’s Name] you know, sometimes people make mistakes that can hurt us. We always have to be aware of what is going on around us. We can also thank God because he controls all things and He kept us safe.
I know what you’re thinking, “I am not going to react that well when someone cuts me off. If anything, it’s time to pull out the gloves!” Being honest, it’s difficult. But it is a conscious decision that you make. Just remember, everything that comes out of your mouth comes directly from your heart.
“…for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” – Luke 6:45
The last two portions of the scripture we see that it is important to use the beginning of the day and the ending of the day as teachable moments. I understand that the first moments after your children wake up or the last moments before they go to be can be rather strenuous. But these are great teachable moments for instructing them in thanking God for the blessings of a new day or praising God for the blessings and protections of the past day.
You have these four key times in everyday. If all of these things seem overwhelming take a deep breath and start one day at a time. If you mess up a day, it will be alright, just get ready for tomorrow. After a while it will become a way of life and you won’t remember a time where you were not raising your family in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.