All of us, at varying points in our lives, have had to learn something that was new and possibly completely foreign to us. This can include subjects in school, professional skills and hobbies, and God’s Word. As convenient as it would be, we weren’t able to simply download the knowledge into our brains and immediately become experts. It took time and repetition to become proficient in these things. It is no different for children. It takes time and persistence for children to learn and develop new skills. Parents play a key role in this development. A parent’s primary responsibility is to teach their children God’s Word and how to live it; this sets them up for success to make an impact when serving God and others.
God desires that we learn His Word, live it, and teach it to our children.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
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.
The word “teach” in this verse is to sharpen, to whet, to rub in by repetition. One way we can rub in by repetition is by involving children in what we do.
I have a one-year-old daughter, and she loves to be involved in anything and everything my wife and I do. Being one year old, there are many things she is not able to do proficiently yet, but we still allow her to help and encourage her as she serves alongside us. Helping with laundry is one of her favorite things. It usually involves her taking clothes out of the washer or dryer and then putting the same clothes back into the same unit. She is still learning how to be more helpful, but it is still great for her to see the joy we can have as we serve together and do what is needed.
One thing our daughter excels at is smiling. Often, we will all go grocery shopping together as a family, and she smiles to every person she sees. This often opens conversations with the other shoppers and workers and provides open doors to share God’s Word with them. Even though she is currently too young to understand what witnessing is, this is a great hands-on way to show her that witnessing is a part of daily life. It allows her to see another aspect of serving, reconciling others back to God.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Children that are brought up in God’s Word are set up for success and can make an impact for God. As my wife and I continue to show our daughter how to serve together with others in the household, we can be confident she will become a strong disciple that is able to contribute much. This was the case with the disciple Timothy.
II Timothy 1:5:
When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith [believing] that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
Timothy learned to be faithful from his mother, who learned to be faithful from her mother. Because of this, Timothy was able to contribute by serving God.
But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.
For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.
Children that are brought up in God’s Word and are shown how to make living it a habit in their lives make an impact as they serve God and others. Timothy was taught God’s Word as a youth and later made an impact by serving with Paul. Our children can also make an impact as we are faithful to rub in by repetition God’s Word and show them how to serve God.