Many people are familiar with the commandment to love God with all your heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10:27). The same thing can be found in the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy, which is where I was reading when I noticed another commandment:
“And 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” (Deuteronomy 6:7)
Are you diligently teaching the Bible to your children? Regardless of how you answer that question, are you talking about it when you are with your children? Sure, Deuteronomy 6 involves God talking to Moses and the Israelites and there are things in the Old Testament that do not apply to Gentiles (i.e. we were not in bondage in Egypt). However, all scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). And while believers are the children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, we are at the same time descendants of Abraham and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:26, 29). This would be among the many reasons we teach and sing the song ‘Father Abraham’ in Children’s Church. A Baptist, I also enjoy the motions (read: dancing), but I digress. We are supposed to be teaching our kids these things. Proverbs 22:6 actually tells us to “train” our children in the way they should go. That takes time.
Merriam-Webster says that to “train” someone is to form by instruction, discipline or drill, to teach so as to make fit, qualified or proficient. That can’t be done in a day. It should not be the full responsibility of your child’s Sunday school teacher either, as he or she only has so much time. And even a fiery sermon from the pulpit will not help you deal with everything you face after leaving the altar for the front door. That, my fellow dads, is why we teach our children about the Bible. Who wrote it? Why was it written? Is it still relevant? Who is Jesus? Why is He necessary for salvation? Recently, my three-year-old asked me why we say, Jesus when we pray over our food. I praise God that she asked that question because I got to teach her the answer.
We will face these and other questions, and dads better have an answer. Now, I do not have all the answers, but I know where to look when I need help. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). We can sit down with our children and find Him in the Bible.