Thou shalt train thy children
in the words of the Scriptures.
“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 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. Deuteronomy 6:6
My children are involved in a wonderful program at our church called Awana. They do lots of fun activities, and everything revolves around memorizing Scripture. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent listening to the kids recite verses so they can progress through their workbooks. I’m certain my kids have more Bible verses memorized than I do.
Training our kids in the words of the Scriptures starts with reading Bible stories to them, praying with them, and teaching them to memorize Bible verses, but it doesn’t end there. The fruition of Biblical training is learning to apply those verses and Biblical principles to the situations that arise in our lives. If our kids never make the connection between the words of Scripture in their heads and how those words should affect what they do, we might as well not be training them at all.
Times of disobedience bring great opportunities to talk about the way God wants us to behave. We teach the kids the importance of praying and asking God to forgive them for their sins, as well as asking forgiveness from the person against whom they’ve sinned. It’s also a good time to talk about Scriptures that should have (and should, in the future) governed the child’s behavior. Some well-worn verses at our house include:
- Ephesians 6:1 ~Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. (NASB)
- Philippians 2:14 ~Do everything without complaining or arguing. (NIV)
- Ephesians 4:32a ~Be ye kind, one to another. (KJV)
- Luke 6:31 ~Do to others as you would have them do to you. (NIV)
TV shows, news items, other people’s behavior the children witness, and the example we as parents set, whether good or bad, can provide other opportunities for discussion about the Scriptures.
If we want our kids to live lives of Godliness, we’ve got to take advantage of every opportunity we have to help them make the connection between, “What does God say about this?” and, “What am I going to do about it?” Not a bad thing for us parents to meditate on either!