Bible Text: Deuteronomy 6:6-7 | Speaker: Dr. Harold J. Sala | Series: Guidelines For Living | These commandments that I give you today are to be upon 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. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
If you as a parent are depending on an hour’s visit to a local church once a week to offset the influence of a secular world in the life of your child, forget it! You are up against tougher competition than you can handle. Altogether too often we commute to a local church, not too far away from home, where we can spend an hour in air conditioned comfort while our children are in Sunday School or are entertained by a program often called “Junior Church.” They color pictures, sing some songs, and have crackers and Kool-Aid before they hear a frustrated teacher tell a Bible story which often sounds like something akin to a fairy tale.
A mother discovered that, who questioned her child about the Bible lesson of the morning, and when the child embellished on the story, the mother asked, “Are you sure that’s the way it is?” “Well,” said the youngster, “you’d never believe it the way the teacher told it.”
The real problem isn’t the quality of Christian education–it’s the amount of it, and the odds which we are against. Your youngster spends 35 hours in school, right? Along with the 3 R’s, a child will get sex education, evolution, and social theories which run counter to much of what he learns at church. In addition, there’s the impact of the great educator which is prominently displayed in your family or living room, otherwise known as a television set, or should we call it the video worship center? If you are average, it glows in vivid, living color five and a half hours a day. By the time your youngster graduates from high school, he will have seen 15- to 20,000 hours of television and will have witnessed 25,000 acts of violence including rapes, murders, and aggression.
But then won’t kids just “pick up” Christian values by growing up in a Christian home? Sure, just like they pick up science and math, and become excellent musicians by just growing up in a home where parents have those abilities. True, some things are “caught” not “taught,” but when it comes to offsetting the secular influence which surrounds our children, we need a frontal attack.
You feed your kids daily, right? You expect them to study their lessons daily. You want them to practice daily to learn proficiency in music? Why not set aside some time each day, even if it is as brief as five minutes following a meal, when you as a family touch God together, something which can be tremendously meaningful in the lives of your children?
After God gave the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai, Moses commanded the people to walk in the ways of the Lord, and to teach these commandments to their children. He said, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon 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” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). He put the responsibility of morality and integrity on the shoulders of parents who, in turn, convey spiritual truths to their children.
Most people call this important time, “Family Devotions,” or “Family Worship.” No matter what you call it, it’s important. Several ingredients should go into the mix: (1) Scripture itself, including memorizing portions of the great book which will stay with your children forever, and (2) learning to pray for each other’s needs and the needs of the world, and (3) learning to care about each other as families should.
There are some things which must be done in time… for eternity!
Resource reading: Deuteronomy 6:1-7