3 Important Reminders About Teaching Our Children What Matters Most

Author:
JT Waresak


Our children live during an era that is saturated with an ever-streaming flow of data, music, media, ads and news. Let's face it. The majority, if not most, of what our kids are exposed to is embedded with a message that is just the opposite of what God is wanting them to hear. If we're not intentional, our children will go days without hearing the words of God. Yet, as a Christian father, I should never let this happen. God wants so much more for His children.

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 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." Deuteronomy 6:5-7

As parents, we're given an explicit directive from God: To diligently teach our children what it means and what it looks like to love our God with all of our being—in all facets of life. This is the most important life lesson we can teach our kids. It’s a "by the way" pursuit that interweaves our daily activities with our missional calling to love God in everything we do. Yet, if you're like me, it's easy to get distracted, and too often our own lives get caught in the day to day routine and we fail to put God first.

3 Reminders To Help Us Be Better Teachers For Our Kids

1. The adage is so true, you can't give someone something that you don't have. It's impossible for me to pour God's love into the hearts and minds of my children, if I'm not first filling my own life with it. My children, like most, learn best by observation. That's why leading by example is so important for dads and moms. Our kids are watching our every step. The road our actions forge today will likely become the path our children take tomorrow. Practically, this necessitates spending daily time in God's Word and much prayer. The more I do this, the more I find myself relating life’s events back to God and His greater purpose for our lives.

2. Diligence is one of those words that carry with it great purpose and dedication. To teach our children diligently means we do so with: great care, speedily, with watchfulness, and earnest. For me, it's all about being most intentional with what matters most. If we're not taking care of the most important things, why are we so busy with everything else? It is a matter of priorities. If the two greatest commandments in life are to love God and to love others, our lives need to be consumed by these efforts. Our level of diligence when it comes to teaching our children will follow the path of our priorities. "By the way" teaching doesn't happen by chance. We must devote ourselves to it every day.

3. We must be willing to remove the distractions to make room for the most important things. Busyness, coupled with excessive media consumption is killing our families and pulling us away from spending time with God and each other. I recently read an article where a young teenager indicated that she liked her smart phone more then the people in her life. This generation of kids is growing up wired to an online world. They are spending more time at home—however, spending less time engaging with their parents and siblings. In many ways, they are becoming the most relationally deprived generation that has ever existed. As parents, we need to say enough is enough. Our children don't need more technology or social media. They need more of God and more of us. How can we diligently teach them if we’re not spending time with them?

A Parent's Prayer: God help us to diligently teach our children Your love and truth. Give us the courage and the resolve to set our daily priorities around You and not ourselves. Help us to lead by example as You knit our children’s hearts to You through Your Son Jesus Christ. In His Name we pray. Amen.

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