A few weeks ago my pastor gave a sermon on parenting. This post is based on that sermon.
There was a statistic that said that with our generation, those who are parenting are more likely to "wing-it" when raising their children and not teach biblical values. This shocked me! Really? It seems like I have a good community of friends who are committed to teaching biblical values in our homes. It was shocking to hear that it is not the norm. I am lucky to have a good church community (let's not forget our Motley Moms community!).
He also told a a story of a boy in the foster care system who had got hit by a car and could not afford to get the medical procedure to heal his legs. His Social Worker did everything she could and was able to get the boy the surgeries that he needed to walk again. She felt so good about it. She had given this boy a new chance on life. She told the story later to fellow social workers and had them guess where this boy ended up. A few people had guesses: a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher... She said he was in prison for the worst crime you could be put in jail for. She said she had taught him HOW to walk but not WHERE to walk.
This story really stuck me because the week that I heard it was the same week my little king had leaned to walk. And I was so excited about him walking everywhere!
It is important to teach our children HOW to walk. Teaching them how to dress, how to do well in school, how to get a good job, etc. are all important things for our sons and daughters to learn, but we cannot leave it at that! We must also show our children WHERE to walk. Teaching them our biblical values and to love the Lord with all their heart.
From Deuteronomy 6 we see that there are 3 ways to teach our children WHERE to walk. These 3 ways are: Imitation,Instruction, and Repetition.
Our kids all copy us. Sometimes it is so cute to see them want to help with chores around the house, or to follow along with us, but other times it is scary to see our worst traits repeated!
Deuteronomy 6: 7-9
7And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Effective imitation requires parents to love the Lord with all our hearts. In the verses above, it says to bind them to our hands (let God direct our actions) to our heads (let God direct our thoughts) and to our post of our house (let God direct the interaction of our homes).
Instruction is not just for Sunday School teachers or pastors. It is our job as parents as well! Moms and dads are the most powerful teachers of God's story and love! We are to look for and prepare for teachable moments with our children. In order to be best prepared, it is important for us as parents to be instructed from God's word, and also from other leaders.
Repetition is a great learning tool. As a teacher, I know that the more times and situations that kids had to practice a skill, the better they would be at it! The same it is true for our biblical values and beliefs! We are told to follow the commands while we are sitting, walking, laying down and getting up... that is a lot! Having our children see us practicing our beliefs in good times and bad will help them do it in the future! Some ways to repeat our values are to pray together before food and bed, read bible stories together, memorize scripture as a family, and listen to Christian music.
This post is more of a reminder for me than it is to tell everyone else what to do. Since it is Sunday, I thought it would be OK if I got a little "preachy".
How are you teaching your children where to walk?