Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 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.
The above text is the classic biblical passage that lays out for parents their biblical calling. We, as parents, are first to make sure the Word of God is in our hearts. As they say, “it is impossible to impart what you do not possess”. If God’s Word is not central to who you are as a parent, it is not likely you will be able to pass it on to your child(ren). Having said that, the passage then calls us to “diligently” teach our children. That word “diligently” should encourage us not to be haphazard in our approach but rather seek to be intentional.
And how can we be intentional? Often when we think about this we may steer toward something like family devotions thinking that this is the only way to be intentional. But I love the fact that the passage encourages us not to think first about a devotional time period each day, but rather thinking of all of life as a place to be intentionally teaching our children. In fact, my observation over the years is that if we are not capturing the everyday moments for Christ, our devotional times may ring untrue to our children. So I want to encourage all parents to live out your calling in the mundane details of life. (So many of the books I read on Family Devotions never make this important point!) Then, having a time of family worship can be all the more effective.
Though parents are the primary nurturers of their children, I believe God has so designed the church to be a partner in this vital enterprise. God has showered His family with a variety of gifts which are meant to build up all the members of the church, including its children. If parents isolate their children from the church family they may be, in effect, impoverishing their children’s spiritual development. That’s why I seek to promote a partnership between the home and church.
On our Children’s Ministry website we have a page that addresses that very theme: Home and Church. Please take time to read through the brief explanation. Then look at the “Recommended Resources” link found on the Parent Resources page to find some suggestions that will help you forge a plan as to how your family might approach intentionally nurturing the faith of your children. A recent book by Jason Helopoulos, A Neglected Grace, may be of some help as you consider the more formal part of your calling (Family Devotions).
If you have some ideas or resources to share with others regarding this important topic, please use the comments section below to do so.
Serving the next generations with you,