According to Ephesians 6:4, Christian fathers and mothers have a high and noble calling to bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. The Old Testament equivalent of this New Testament passage is found in Deuteronomy 6:7: “You shall teach them [the words of God] 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.”
Notice in this passage that parents are commanded to “teach” and to “talk” of God’s words when you “sit, walk, lie down, and rise up.” In other words, let God, His word, and the gospel be always on your tongue. The question is how do you do this?
Deuteronomy gives the answer. The text tells you to love the Lord your God with all your heart (6:5). And it also tells you to have the words of God in your heart (6:5). Then the text says to engage in formal teaching (“teach them diligently”) and informal teaching (when you “sit, walk, lie down, and rise up”).
The point of application is clear: love God and have His Word constantly in your heart and mind. When God and His words are cherished constantly, they will be constantly with your children. The glories, goodness, and grace of God will seep out not only in formal teaching settings, but also in the day to day, run-of-the-mill conversations with your children.
- Wow, look, we can see both Mars and Saturn tonight! Isn’t God’s creation amazing?!
- I’m sorry Johnny has been mean to you. How can you return good for evil?
- I know you miss Dad while he’s on his business trip. But we are thankful to God for his job, so that he can serve Christ and serve us by providing for our needs.
Moms and dads, there is no substitute for regular intake of the word of God through both private means (=personal reading) and public means (=church stated meetings). When you have God and His words in your heart, your children will “see” God in all of life.