DAVISON, MI – Since the beginning, every generation has been tasked with passing the knowledge of the works of God to the next generation; to make his power, beauty, and heart known to them. We are to teach them, not just tell them, that God loves them, and has a purpose for them, so they learn to get their strength in Him. There is no greater inheritance that we can leave our children, and our children’s future children, than a relationship with Jesus, and not just a religion.
God has placed that responsibility on us as parents, grandparents, and leaders in the church. It’s a command and a privilege, but it can also be daunting. Years ago, as both a young parent and a new Christian, I knew He made it known to me that the responsibility of teaching my children was mine, but I remember thinking “How do I do this?”
When we are so busy with the things of this world and everyday life, we can often forget the most important foundation we can give them: the ability to see Jesus. Thankfully, we’re not the first generation to encounter busyness. How do we know this? In Deuteronomy 6, God instructed the Israelites to teach the words of God “diligently unto thy children and shalt talk of them when thou sittest…walkest by the way…liest down…and risest up.”
In other words: anywhere and everywhere you can. If it were written today, perhaps God would say “when you ride in the car,” “when you serve the elderly in your neighborhood,” or even “between innings at the t-ball game.” Every moment is a moment to teach. Even if we’re unaware, we’re still teaching something. Our children watch us like a hawk. They learn what from what we do and don’t say, and from what we do and don’t do. So why not make the most of every opportunity? If we’re looking, conversations and questions about God can be inserted into most moments. Pray for wisdom and He will guide you.
Opportunities don’t have to be big or perfect. The examples in Deuteronomy 6 were from the mundane, daily routine. When my kids were little, I remember walking outside with them,looking up, and saying “Isn’t it great how God gave us trees?” It can be that easy. If children can learn to see God’s handiwork in the small, how much more will they recognize it in the big?
We must also make sure we never stop learning as we guide them. One lesson I’m still learning is to really listen to what my children are saying, especially as they grow older. It’s hard to listen if my mind is already made up. But when I’ve been open, the Lord has used my children to teach me, and help me not be stuck in a generation. In the process, God has reminded me that He’s the real teacher, and that my children and I are learning together as we “walkest by the way.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leonia Ross served at Davison Meadows Baptist Church in Davison Michigan with her husband, pastor Randy Ross, for over 20 years. Pastor Randy went home to be with his Savior and Lord December of 2016. Leonia Ross continues to be a faithful member and regularly shares her faith with others and invites them to share in fellowship at Davison Meadows.