Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you …. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them 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. Deuteronomy 6:1-3A, 6-7
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. Psalm 103:8-14
God calls us as parents to be in the business of helping our children live right. Someone has suggested that the guidance we offer our children for right living should be more “caught” than “taught”. The difference here becomes clear when we consider the difference between two types of learning: classroom learning and apprentice learning. The primary format of classroom learning is to explore subjects through an informational and cognitive process away from those settings where the subjects have their application often with limited direct and personal involvement between teacher and student. The primary learning format of apprentice learning is a close relationship between master and apprentice in a real life setting where the master engages in his craft and the apprentice seeks to become like his master. The apprentice learning format is much more representative of the kind of training and guidance our children really need. Building a close relationship between parent and child in the context of everyday life needs to be the primary way our guidance comes about with verbal explanations playing a more supplemental role. This is what the Deuteronomy passage is all about and it captures well the idea of learning being more “caught” than “taught” and lends itself well to making “relationship” the priority in the spiritual guidance of our children as parents.
Having our children to come to faith in Christ so they experience redemption is the centerpiece of living right. Redemption is God washing away our sin in order to make us fitting habitats for His presence. As His redeemed ones with Him living within our hearts, we enjoy an intimate relationship with the God of the universe that is filled with love, worship, faith, and dependence. Out of this relationship comes personal transformation and an outflow of life that blesses everyone around us. Our children seeing the reality of our redemption, our relationship with Christ, and the genuine right living that flows from our transformed lives, will go a long way toward them having a faith of their own.
Lord help us to count on your presence, guidance, and comfort completely as we stay faithful to the task of guiding our children spiritually as parents. Grant that we stay close to you throughout the journey, that we always seek your guidance for the task, and that your deep comfort is our continuous experience in all our faithful efforts. Amen!
May God bless you richly and thank you for all you do to bless your children with love and faith.
Posted on Sat, May 2, 2015
by Alan Porter