This Sunday I am preaching on Deuteronomy 6:4-9, during which Moses instructed the people, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your sould and with all your might.” Moses goes on to say, “Recite these words to your children.”
Like many parents, my wife and I struggled to communicate our faith to our children, especially being the offspring of two pastors. Being pastor’s kids is rarely easy. People sometimes carried unhealthy expectations for their behavior. But we did our best to teach them, sometimes with odd results.
I had read about a family devotional in which the object lesson was “following the crowds can be foolish; following Jesus is wise.” The devotional instructed me to buy frozen popsicles for my kids and then tell them that there was a new fad that I had just heard about: “microwaved popsicles.” I showed them the popsicles and how “everyone” was microwaving their popsicles before eating them. My kids, ages 8, 6, and 3, thought it was a stupid idea from the beginning. My wife agreed. Still I placed the popsicle in the microwave and we watched them melt. When I took the popsicles out, they just stared at me and said, “that’s stupid.” I tried to explain that they were right, that doing what “everyone” else is doing can be “stupid.” But my daughter just stared at me and said, “But you just did it, Daddy. Does that mean you’re stupid?” I had no good response, except to laugh.
Fortunately, my children had an excellent mother who instructed them well on the love of God.
What are ways that you have taught children the love of God?
Lord Jesus, teach me how to teach my children your Word.