Today we had the joy of dedicating several babies and families at Sycamore Baptist Church, my family included. Here is what I shared with them regarding the “How To” of training your child in the Lord (Part 1).
(1) We have to be diligent and deliberate
In Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Moses writes,
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.
The image behind the word teach is that of an engraver carving an image in stone, which is a great image when it comes to parenting.
Masterpieces aren’t produced willy nilly. They start with a plan. An understanding of the final product. The positioning of the image on the stone. The tools and resources needed to complete the work. These things need to be in place first before the engraving process can begin.
Once started, the engraver must deliberately follow their plan and be diligent about their work. Engraving an image in stone doesn’t happen over night, it takes weeks, months, or even years.
Parents must do the same. They must have a plan. Know the endgame. Gather the necessary resources, and be deliberate and diligent in teaching their children.
Parents must take great care in working their plan out over the years.
(2) We have to see everything we do as an opportunity to teach our children
Parents must see everything they do as a teaching opportunity. Sitting down with our children a couple days a week to read through God’s Word is important and necessary, but that can’t be all we do.
Think about the engraver. What if he took a whack or two at the stone every couple of days? Do you think he would finish his project? It’s unlikely he would finish. What does he have to do to finish? He has to be at it all day.
Parents must do the same.
If they want to engrave God’s word on their children’s hearts, they must look for and take every opportunity to teach their children God’s Word.
In order to be at it all day, teaching times can’t always be planned. They must take place on the fly. As they are sitting around the house, walking by the way, lying down and rising up, parents must be ready to teach their children.
Questions for Reflection
- Do you have a plan to train your children?
- What resources are you using?
- Have you stuck to your plan over the years?
- What fruit have you seen from being deliberate and diligent?
- How do you take advantage of day to day activities to teach your children?
Post adapted from my sermon Training Our Children in the Lord