If you’re like me, you struggle to find time to study the Bible for yourself, much less with your children. Although I plan to have Bible study with my kids at the beginning of each day, it doesn’t always work out that way. We home school, and sometimes we get up late and jump right into our “core” subjects, intending to “pick up” Bible study at the end of the day (which usually never happens). Or, we leave on a field trip and leave out Bible study completely. Then on weekends, holidays, vacations, and summer breaks—well, you know how those can be…No routine equals no study!
But, is this the way it should be? And, even if we find time, is a 20-minute time of Bible study each day enough? Of course not. The Bible makes it clear that we should always be teaching God’s Word to our children; God’s Word should be such a part of us that Its influence and guidance is made manifest in every aspect of our lives:
“teach them [His commands] 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. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:7-9).
In order to faithfully teach these commands to our children, we must first learn them ourselves:
“5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart” (Deuteronomy 6:5-6).
We can’t teach our children what we don’t already know ourselves. Trying to do so is like trying to teach basket-weaving if we’ve never even seen a basket, much less made one. Moms, if we never pick up the Bible and read it, how are we supposed to know how to apply God’s instruction to our own lives, not to mention the lives of our children?
So, how can you “train up” your child according to God’s Word
(Proverbs 22:6)? Essentially, teaching your child begins with you, not your child.
1. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
This is the “first and greatest commandment” (Deuteronomy 6:5; Luke 10:27; Mark 12:30; Matthew 22:37). God must be first in your life, not your hobbies, your job, your social media accounts, or even your family.
2. Know the Word for yourself.
You must take time to hear, read, study, memorize, and meditate upon God’s Word (Psalm 119:11; Proverbs 10:14). You’ll starve spiritually without it (1 Peter 2:2).
3. Apply God’s Word to your life.
You must be intentional about your obedience. Remember, you must always be going about the task of teaching your children — this requires constant application of God’s Word, not just during those designated teaching times. What good is learning the Word if you don’t also “take it to heart” (Revelation 1:3)?
Recognize that you cannot accomplish anything apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in you. You can plant and water, but it is God Who causes growth (1 Corinthians 3:7).
Being diligent to live such a life is not easy, but its rewards are worth the effort (Psalm 19:7-11).
Moms, are you willing to “discipline yourselves for the purpose of godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7) so that you can be obedient to God’s commands in Deuteronomy 6:6-9?