From the moment they arrive, we are our children’s first teacher. We instruct them how to eat, walk, bathe, dress and the list goes on. It’s tempting to do things for them, but this is actually a disservice. We are to teach, not do. And the most important thing we can teach our children is to follow God.
As we continue with our #JoyinParenting series, our next role after being a guardrail is to be a teacher.
Moses reminded Israel of the importance of what we teach our children as they were about to enter the Promised Land.
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. ~Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Often, I feel like a broken record reminding, teaching and warning our children about a myriad of things. But repeating how God loves us and how we should love and honor Him can never be said too often.
We are reminded how our parental instruction stays with our children in Proverbs:
Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. ~Proverbs 22:6
Teaching our children often brings the utmost joy. We see tangible results as they take those first steps, accomplish goals and learn to be more independent. But let’s not miss the cornerstone of this foundation–loving God ourselves.
All we are and have comes from Him, including the children and wisdom we are trying to impart. So we must emulate and teach this as the basis of our lives as well. Notice how Moses taught to commit ourselves to God’s ways daily. Just like anything else, we cannot tell them to do something we don’t do ourselves. We must practice what we preach, or we’ll never create the lasting path we desire for our children.
We do this by taking time to seek, honor, and love God ourselves. Then we demonstrate and teach this to our kids by:
- Reading the Bible together daily.
- Praying together daily.
- Sharing how God is working in our lives with our kids.
- Discussing life’s struggles as we lift them to the Lord, encouraging our kids to do the same.
- Being God’s loving hands and feet in this world.
We plant seeds of faith by showing and telling our children of God’s love and salvation for them. God nurtures their faith and hopefully, they follow. But this works best when we actively speak AND listen to them.
This is a work in progress for me. I’m very good at telling, not so good at listening. As our children’s first teachers, we need to see, hear, and understand them as the unique beings God created. No two children are the same and different methods may be needed for different children.
Let’s learn about our children so we can be their best teachers. Let’s teach them to love and honor God above all others in a way they understand. Let’s share with them how to live in this world while simultaneously being set apart as His children. Let’s pay attention and readjust our teaching methods as they grow.
We may not always have all the answers and be able to teach our children everything. But we can teach them Who does and how to seek Him on their own.
Teaching and directing our children about and onto God’s path for them is one of our most crucial roles as parents. It has eternal consequences. Let’s seek His wisdom and direction how to do this well.
Let’s find our joy as parents by directing our children to their Savior.
Linking with Deb at #Faith ‘n Friends Linkup