“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
Why is it so important to train our children to think biblically? Sally Clarkson in chapter 6 of The Mission of Motherhood responds by reciting Proverbs 23:7, that as a person “thinks within himself, so is he (NASB).” Our children’s thought processes and beliefs will determine, as they grow and mature, what kind of people they will be. “What we think about God is the most important thing about us” as A.W. Tozer so profoundly pointed out. How we view and comprehend God will not only affect our beliefs, but also our decision making process, our purpose, and our behavior. Therefore, ever more reason for us to heed the important call to train up our children in biblical literacy, morality, laws, theology, wisdom, and faith, which she expands upon in detail throughout the remainder of this chapter.
How can we walk this out?
Biblical Literacy – Read the Word together! Sally highly recommends story telling from the Bible. Asking questions to build interest, reading, talking, and praying through each story. One resources she uses is Stories that Jesus Told by Patricia St. John.
Law & Morality
Study and memorize the Ten Commandments. Children must understand that there is a right and wrong, even when it may require repeated exposure to the truth. It also requires learning and understanding the consequences of sin, in addition to comprehending the truth of God’s love and forgiveness.
A great resource for teaching the Ten Commandments is Hand Commands by Ann Dunagan. Great for young to old with just a simple way of remembering and memorizing them with your fingers!
We must study the character and attributes of God together in order that our children might know and understand the meaning and purpose behind God’s commands. “My children long to give their hearts not to a list of rules but to a living, loving, vibrant Person – a God who is truly worthy of praise and their life’s devotion. They will encounter that God in the pages of Scripture, but they will come to know him even more intimately in the lives of those who love him.”
Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem are highly recommended for training in theology. We studied these together as a family and they were excellent at building a solid foundation.
Study the book of Proverbs! “God desires us to be more than academic theologians who can think great thoughts about him. He desires to make his wisdom principles a fundamental part of our thinking so we can apply them to our lives in a realistic way. As we teach our children to act wisely and think about the biblical approach to living, we help them develop the character and integrity that will serve asa foundation for their decisions.” I can recall reading the book of Proverbs repeatedly growing up. My parents saw the value of not only teaching the knowledge of God but how to practically live out an obedience to Christ Jesus. We would take turns reading each verses and share a comment. IT was so valuable!
For further excellent reading on practically training our children in these areas, please read Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham, Jr. It is a fabulous and inspiring read!
Sally ends with this quote: “The truth of God’s Word – about God’s reality, about wisdom, about faith – is to be spoken of constantly in our homes. Talking, talking, talking to our children all the time about everything…This constant talking and instructing is what was modeled by Jesus while he lived with his disciples and prepared them to be leaders of the faith when he went to heaven. It is significant to me that, in recording the last evening he spent with Jesus, John took four chapters to record all that Jesus said to them. He talked and talked and talked to them.”
What did you glean from this chapter? I would love to hear of further resource recommendations as well for training our children to think biblically? What has worked for you?