A Brief note on Deuteronomy 6:1-9 and Bible Teaching for Children
Updated: Sep 19, 2019
The instruction from this passage to diligently teach our children wherever and whenever possible, reminds us that Bible teaching is the foremost responsibility of parents and guardians, as well as pastors, elders and those appointed to teach our children. Good Bible teaching in the home will not happen unless dutiful and willing adherence is assigned to this vital task and the Lord’s help is sought in prayer and in all seriousness.
We hardly need reminding that religious education lessons in schools has by and large, deteriorated from religious instruction from a Judeo-Christian framework to a pseudo-tolerance that is only tolerant of an imposed view of meaningless religious syncretism. There are excellent exceptions such as Crossteach, Gideons and others, and long may they continue, though we need to be vigilant and realistic concerning the times we are living in.
There is a need for structured Bible teaching so that a book in the Bible is read through systematically and studied and understood as much as possible. From as early as possible, children need to understand how Scripture fits together and to gain a basic understanding of how the Bible is vitally connected with history and is not an alternative to Aesop’s fables or Lord of the Rings. This will also help to guard their minds against the trap of relativistic thinking that is disconnected with history and reality, let alone God’s Word. I remember well, one of my lecturers bemoaning that some of his millennial undergrads had a poor grasp of the cohesion of God’s Word, let alone a basic knowledge of critical events and biblical stories.
Similarly even some of the materials assigned to teaching our children often need to be vetted for biblical accuracy.
Thankfully resources such as Go Teach or Changing Lanes are good examples of trustworthy resources, though some alternative materials are greatly comprised by their lack of clarity. Other resources appeal more to popular psychology and secular self-help, rather than biblical instruction when the veneer is uncovered.
Bible teaching for children is a critical venture and we must support and pray for both our children and their teachers. It is an incredible blessing for children to know the Lord from an early age. There is a trend for youth to leave during a service for a teenage Sunday School when they would be far better of listening to expository preaching when they reach their teenage years. Consider that our Jewish friends have their Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah at age 13 and 12 respectively and are treated like adults thereafter. Not surprisingly some are able to remember a lot of Scripture and the responsibility is good for them.
It is not a coincidence that the command to teach our children diligently immediately follows the greatest command to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and strength. The greatest thing we can do for our children is to consistently instruct them lovingly in the ways of the Lord from an early age. In addition to the profound spiritual benefits that have everlasting implications, regular Bible teaching with your children will greatly improve their reading, listening and comprehension skills. More importantly the formation of godly character that pleases the Lord will supersede those inevitable additional benefits, so that they also might love the Lord their God in totality, with an undivided heart and genuine zeal for the Lord.