- Parent, Are You a Child of God? – The word “teach” in this highly significant verse Deu 11:9 “And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up”, is directed to all true believers, especially those who are Christian parents. As we think about the enormous implications inherent in this verse, we must first recognize the importance of examining ourselves to determine if I, as a parent, have indeed become a child of God. This is a prerequisite in order to teach any child truth from the Bible. Psa 50:16 warns the unsaved “What hast thou to do to declare my statutes” and 2 Cor 13:5 warns each individual to “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”, to meditate and walk in the Word of God. Another reason why this is so critical is because children learn more by the example set by the parent (or parents) than by any other means. Thus, as parents, we must beseech the Lord for His strength and grace in order to live out what we believe in front of our children; in other words, doctrine and daily living must go hand in hand. Jos 1:7-9 reveals God’s words to Moses’ successor, Joshua. In short, the essence of a Christian’s life is to be focused on and obedient to the Word of God. May God save you and work “in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ (Heb 13:21)”.
Psa 50:16-21 “But unto the wicked [unsaved] God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant [or God’s law] in thy mouth? 17Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. 18When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. 19Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. 20Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. 21These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.”
Deu 11:18 “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.”
Jos 1:7-9 “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
- What to Teach your Child? – The word “teach” in Deu 11:19 “And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” also appears in Deu 6:6-9 (a parallel passage to Deu 11:18-20), “thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children”. In verse 6, “these words” refer to “the words of eternal life”, the Word of God, as we also see in John 6:68 “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life”. In our day when apostasy abounds, we are under divine obligation to make sure the Gospel we are teaching is indeed that which is based upon all of the Bible and only the Bible! Ultimately, only God can teach or reveal truth to a person, regardless of their age “Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day” (Psa 25:4-5); yet the Christian parents (particularly the father in most cases) are responsible to witness the Gospel to their child (or children), as Eph 6:4 underscores, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”. We provoke our children to wrath by over-disciplining or under-disciplining them. The right-discipline is to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”. Could it be that if God has redeemed us by His grace, we would be obedient to Eph 4:15, which states, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”
Deu 6:6-9 “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”
Isa 48:17 “Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.”
Psa 34:11 “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.”
- When to Start Teaching your Child? – 2 Tim 3:14-17 teaches a vital principle using Timothy, Paul’s young protégé, as an illustration, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect [or complete], throughly furnished unto all good works”. Pro 22:6 also adds “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”. Another example given to us in the Scriptures is that of Abraham in Gen 18:19, “For I know him [Abraham], that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him”. May God enable us by His grace to perform this solemn duty of training our children in the Word of God – the Bible.
Psa 78:1-8 “Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. 2I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: 3Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. 4We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. 5For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: 6That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: 7That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: 8And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.”
- When and Where to Teach your Child? – “When” and “where” this instruction is to take place. The word “when” is repeated four times in this passage: “And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deu 11:19). Why so often? Why so repetitive? Again and again and again, teach, teach, remind them, remind them “beware lest thou forget the LORD (Deu 6:12)”. This verse pinpoints the fact that teaching our children to walk according to the Word of God is to be done routinely within the normal day-to-day activities as we interact with them, in every life situation, in every life decision. As we contemplate the verses in this lesson, may God give those of us who are parents His grace and strength to faithfully teach our children the truth of the Bible and to teach not only our own children, but to anyone else God might give us an opportunity to witness. Pro 1:8-9 admonishes children (also applies to every child of God) “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”
Deu 6:6-12 “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. 10And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, 11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;
Pro 4:1-7 “Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 2For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 3For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words:keep my commandments,and live. 5Get wisdom, get understanding:forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 7Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.