Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Moses gives parents specific instructions on what they are to do with what he has just told them. What Moses said in v.7-9 is in the mentorship responsibility of parents. “What I have told you, you are now to teach your children.” This may surprise you, but the primary responsibility for educating your kids does not lie with the school system, nor with the church. It lies with the home.
God intended for the home to be the first classroom. Home is where children learn that actions have consequences. Home is where kids learn personal responsibility, respect for authority, and the meaning of life. “Children are arrows in a quiver, and they are to be trained as missionaries and shot at the Devil.”- Jim Elliot
There are two ways that Moses indicates to us where spiritual discoveries can be made:
- See God in the routine
The experts estimate that the average child spends:
- 40 hours a year at church
- 1000 hours a year at school
- 3000 hours a year at home
Home is where you learn the most important lessons you ever learn in life – that is how to love God. I’m glad that Angie and I are seeing a friendship develop between us and our 3 sons, but our children need parents not pals! You never outgrow being a parent! Of course, every parent learned their parenting while they were being parented. As Truett Cathy once wrote, “its easier to build strong children than to repair broken parents.”
The excuse I hear most often when it comes to prioritizing family time that honors Christ is: “Well, I don’t have time.” We have more time-saving devices than ever and less time than ever. It’s a matter of choice! 20 years ago, 60% of American families had regular sit down family dinners together during the week. Today, only 1 in 5 have at least 1 weekly sit down together family dinner. (that’s 20%) you can have family values if you don’t even have family meals!
William Frankena, a former philosophy professor at the University of Michigan stated that when he was a boy, his father read at least 1 chapter from the Bible after every meal and that they finished the Bible every year for 16 years. Can you imagine the spiritual discoveries made at meal times in that home?
- Spot God in the random
In America, a child drops out of school every 9 seconds. By the time a boy is 21, he has spent 10,000 hours playing video games and more than that watching pornography. a) they haven’t learned social skills, b) they live in a world they create. Their brains are being digitally rewired. We are underestimating the power of technology in rewiring children’s brains.
It’s been said that rote memory is one dimension while spontaneous recognition is two dimensional. When you put them both together in an overall strategy for your family, it’s like living in 3D. Establishing rhythm means you can maintain focus on your relationship with the Lord as a family when the rat race of life won’t slow down. But it also means you don’t have to take a vacation from God when you take a vacation.
In our home that means seeing limits on screen time (all of us), keeping phones and tablets out of the bedrooms and only in the open areas, and establishing technology covenants with one another. These simple yet foundational parameters have been essential for our family to sport God in the random. You can’t observe God’s creation outside your window if your face is buried in a phone.
Having spent the last few weeks with my family on a journey that took us to 3 countries, and having completed a 4,000 mile road trek across 12 states, (much of it spent in the camper we were towing), I can testify that without a plan, nothing significant would have occurred. That may be the result some families choose, but not mine. We choose to be different. As Joshua posited the ultimatum to each family who crossed into the Promised Land, “Choose you this day, whom you will serve.” What’s your strategy? For more info check out mobberly.org/merge