When we watch the news, we realize, undeniably, that the world is changing. The moral compass of society is off—people have drifted so far from God’s way. This situation often prompts parents to consider and re-evaluate their parenting styles. In particular, parents wonder, “How do I raise my children so that they are prepared for the new uncertainties of daily life?”
The answer, of course, can be found in the eternal, unchangeable certainties of God’s word—a resource we are prone to overlook in daily life, when we relegate His word exclusively to weekly times of corporate worship or study. While other resources are beneficial to parents, we must not overlook the practical, day-to-day wisdom that God imparts through the Holy Bible.
God has given us clear instructions about how to raise children. He even includes specific examples that illustrate the integration of His wisdom with our daily talking and walking, sleeping and waking, doing and thinking, entering and leaving:
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9
These explicit instructions teach fathers and mothers how to train their children in the ways of the Lord—by seizing every moment for His good and grace. As parents, our lives tend to be busy; our commitments spread us so thin. This, in turn, causes us to practice Godly training through the simple defaults of praying before meals and attending church on Sunday. While these practices are important, we are called to do more. That “more” is the intentional integration of God’s word with all we do and say.
But, first things first. For parents to teach their children well, they must have right hearts themselves. We cannot teach our children to love, respect, and seek God if we are not doing the same. We must lead by example so that our children see what it truly means to be a Christian and enjoy a personal relationship with Christ. We must equip our own selves with God’s truth so that we can model true faith and pass it along to our children.
We cannot teach our children to love, respect, and seek God if we are not doing the same.
Teaching our children to know and love God at a young age is imperative, for these are formative years in which we can help them cultivate a relationship with Christ. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities available to do so.
Reading age-appropriate Bible stories is a particularly engaging way to help our children to learn to love and obey God. Children are often captivated by colorful illustrations, which parents love because this creates an appealing avenue for them to teach their children about God and His love for us. It is also an excellent opportunity to have one of your older children read to his or her younger sibling. He or she will learn without even realizing it. In fact, it can positively impact the whole family.