In Deuteronomy 6:5-11, you will find what you are to teach your children, how you are to teach your children and when you are to teach them. The instruction is clear and worthy of note ….
Verse 5 of this passage tells us what you are to teach. “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your (mind and ) heart and with your entire being, and all your might.” If your children come to love God like this, all the important things of life will follow and fall into place. Everything you teach should line up and agree with this command in some way. For example, as you teach them not to love themselves nor their possessions more than God or as you teach them about gratitude, respect, authority, and kindness, you teach what it means to love God most.
How do you teach this critical truth? As verse 6 says, “And these words which I am commanding you this day shall be (first) in your own minds and hearts (then…)” If you do not love God like this or are not growing in this kind of love for God, you cannot teach this to your children. You must nourish your own soul with His Word, trusting Him, to continually teach you, so you may teach them. Then verse 7 tells you to teach in such a way that the words penetrate the minds and hearts of your children. It also instructs you to teach with much diligence in order that it makes a lasting impression upon your children. It will take work, time, and thought but it is a work that will be blessed. To sharpen means to use creative methods that are age appropriate. Study your child and discover the best methods of communicating Truth to him. This can be both fun and applicable.
The second part of verse 7 tells us the when… ” and 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.” I love this verse and the “as you go through life” instruction. This also means that you must be present with your children, not just in the same room, but that you are intentional about seeking teaching opportunities. It can take place in structured situations, but more often then not, these times will takes place in unstructured ways, as you live life. Put them to bed with love, prayer and Truth and awaken them in the same way.
Verses 8-9 tells us that you should remind them and yourself often of the need of God and His Word. As these verses say, that may mean writing it on notes that go into school lunch boxes or on their bathroom mirrors of framed throughout your home. This is reinforcement of what you are already are teaching.
The blessings of teaching these verses are shared in verses 10-11. God will bring us into His land (or Kingdom) and give us safe places (in our hearts) to live. You will have spiritual blessings of good things. (wisdom, faith, fruit). You will gain these blessings, not because you earned them but only because of God’s great grace and goodness. So as you go, teach your children what is close to the heart of God. Trust God and He will show you how to obey this very important scripture. Make it of utmost priority, for this will be time well spent in your busy lives that will count for eternity. What can be more important? So teach your children well!