This post is written by contributing writer, Tasha from Spann-ing the Globe.
As a parent, it is so exciting to imagine what the future holds for our daughter: Will Adah have my height? Will she be sporty like her father? Will she become a missionary or a doctor? Will she have kids of her own one day?
But for every happy moment of day dreaming, there is usually a thought that snaps me back to reality: Will she be stubborn like her dad? Will she be nosey like her mom? Will she repeat the same mistakes we made growing up?
We were all rebellious children in some way. I am sure we have uttered at least one foul word in our lives. I am positive we disobeyed our parents at least twice. And I am more than certain that we told a fib or five. But how can we use this to help our children?
Deuteronomy 4:9 says, “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.“
I can imagine a scene where I ask 5 year old Adah to pick up her toys and she tells me no. Do I teach her by confessing the sins of my youth? Or do I simply avoid the matter and hope her knowledge of the fruit of the Spirit will speak for me?
I can image a scene where a 10 year old Adah is caught with a toy she stole from one of her friends. Do I teach her by confessing the sins of my youth? Or do I simply avoid the matter and hope her knowledge of the 10 Commandments will speak for me?
I can imagine a scene where a 15 year old Adah is caught lying about not doing her homework. Do I teach her by confessing the sins of my youth? Or do I simply avoid the matter and hope her knowledge of the Bible will remind her of the importance of truth and honesty?
It is important that we parents teach our children, it is one of our duties (Proverbs 22:6)! We cannot simply rely on their knowledge of Biblical truths (or lack there of)! But how we teach them is usually a questionable debate – do we tell them stories about our struggles as children to teach them what not to do…or are we giving them new sinful ideas for entertainment? Do we teach them to not do wrong to avoid punishment; or do we teach them not to do wrong, because it’s wrong? There is a difference.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
The immediate context of these verses from Deuteronomy refer to the 600+ laws handed down from Moses; and praise be to God that Christ Jesus fulfilled the intent of the law so we are no longer bound by them, but instead we are bound by the Love that is in Christ. That being said, the importance of teaching your children according to what you have learned is there. But if every time our child begins to make a false step, do we correct them immediately and risk embittering them (Colossians 3:21)? Or do we allow them to make some on their own mistakes and use the teachable moments that come after it? These are tough questions.
It is so easy to worry about our parenting skills, but let us petition God to show us how He wants us to raise His blessings, and “resolve to know nothing…except Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).