Have you read Deuteronomy 6 lately? Probably not. The Ten Commandments are listed just prior to this chapter, and they are reiterated here. I was struck the other day when I read this passage again:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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. 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.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (ESV)
As a Children’s Minister, I have found that many parents depend on the church to educate their children about God and Christian principles. They seem to think that it is enough simply to bring their children to church on Sundays and maybe even one other day during the week. This passage differs in this approach. It charges parents to teach their children. I believe that many parents don’t teach their children about God because they don’t know where to start.
Is it enough to for parents to pray with their children only at bedtime? What if they add in prayer before meals? It is great to pray with your children but this passage requires more than that. It says to teach your children about the 10 Commandments at home, when you are walking (or driving or biking) somewhere, when you go to bed, and when you wake up. That requires more than bedtime and mealtime prayers.
So, as a parent, where do you start? Here are some ways that you can begin to teach your children about God, the 10 Commandments, and how Christians should act:
- Read Bible stories with your children. See the Bibles I recommend for some child-friendly versions.
- Let your children see you read your Bible, pray, and act like a Christian.
- Memorize Bible verses together. Post them on your mirror, refrigerator, and even in your car.
- Use discipline to teach your children about what God expects of us. Encourage your child to pray and ask God for forgiveness after making a bad choice.
- Use everyday moments (God’s provision, worry, preparations for the future, family changes, etc.) to teach your children about God and His ways.
- Complete the activities listed in the Teaching Kids About God blog