My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother;
Often we read this verse, and we look at our children and we say “See! God says you are supposed to listen to me.” But there’s more. Before we get too quick to point this out to our children thinking our work is done, we need to remember that this requires something of us as parents as well. In this, there is an implied command that parents are to teach their children.
Notice Moses’ admonition: ““Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deut.6:5-9)
And again in Deuteronomy 11:18-20 “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,”
Do we do this? Do we spend the time teaching our children about God and His law, or do we sit back and expect the Sunday school teachers and the preachers to do that? Do we understand that if we don’t take the time, then someone else will. And we wonder what is happening to the faith of our youth…
Do we take the time to pray with our children and over our children? Do we pray for their faith? Do we pray that God do great things through them? I read an account today of a father who prayed that his children not just be good, but that they become “great men who will do great things for a great God.” That’s my prayer. When we think of our children and dream of what their lives will be, does that list include – first and foremost – that they be strong Christians who will be of benefit to His kingdom and will bring many souls to Him? Do we aspire that our boys will become elders and our girls will become wives worthy of such men? Do we teach them what would be required of them in order to do that? We take the time to encourage them in other interests, what about spiritually?
“I am not raising my kids to survive the world. I’m raising them to change it.” That’s what I want for my children.