"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 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."
“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,”
These are the times we sit our children down to teach them who God is and our responsibility to love and serve Him passionately.
“And shalt talk of them.”
Here’s the thought of informal, casual communication. The Hebrew word for “talk” means “to speak, declare, converse, command, promise, warn, threaten, sing…to speak with one another, talk”1 (BDB). Our teaching about our God is not just during formal teaching times, but it is at all other practical times in the day as well. These are opportunities to bring the truth about God into our ordinary talking times with our children. It is not just about learning His truth at Sunday School, but it is about parents taking the breaks during the day and night to include the truth about God in the conversations. These are not Bible lessons as such, in fact, you might not even have your Bible open at the time, but they are teachable moments for object lessons, and dialog about God. It is in these times when our children see that God is real in our everyday lives, that He is important to us, and that we love Him. These moments should be as natural as breathing for us to share with our children.
What time is the best to bring up truth about God? Moses answers that question for us.
“When thou sittest in thine house,”
Leisure times. When we’re just sitting around talking, playing games, or watching TV. Mealtime works well too. These are casual times of living together when a question comes up, or an opportunity presents itself. Parents we need to ask the Lord to help us see the openings and give us the wisdom to use them well. These are not “preaching services” but times to encourage thoughts about God.
“And when thou walkest by the way,”
Travel times. We have had some very deep theological discussions with our children when driving to or from our church. Drive times can be excellent chances to speak truth to our children.
“And when thou liest down,”
Nap times and bedtimes are great times to bring God in. No child on earth wants to go to bed and will likely do anything to stay up a little later. Why not put your child down on time, and pray with them as usual. Then just sit with them a few minutes in the dark and talk. In our experience, these have been valuable talk times.
“And when thou risest up.”
Rise and shine times. Many life lessons can be taught early in the day. Start your day early enough that you can take a few moments to talk together before everyone heads out the door for the day. Help your child to start their day with thoughts about God. Let them know that He will be with them throughout the day. They can ask Him for help whenever they need Him. They can share His Gospel with their friends during the day.
“And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 11:19).
Believers, how are you doing with teaching your family? Ask the Lord to help you in the little casual times in life to faithfully point your child to Him.
1. Brown, Driver, Briggs. Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions, the electronic version in eSword.