So how do we teach and instruct? It’s something that we can’t not do. We can’t ignore this clear command. We’re called to impress God’s truths deeply on the hearts of our kids (Deut 6.4-9). Come my children listen to me and I will teach you the fear of the Lord (Ps 34.11). So what does this teaching and instruction look like?
Parents all understand Paul’s command to “bring the children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6.4). But sometimes we grow weary in teaching the same old truths on many occasions again and again. Solomon could relate. He said “Hear my son your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (Prov 1:8). All through the Book of Proverbs, we receive many examples of Solomon pleading with his son to hear, listen to, heed, pay attention to, and receive His instruction. For instance, “my son, do not forget my teaching but let your heart keep my commandments” (Prov 3:1). This is a vital and unending part of parenting. As the children grow, we as parents must be deliberate in our teaching and instructing of their hearts. This not only takes place in the discipline room when they’re very small (with simple points of instruction) but as the child gets older, the physical spanking will decrease and the verbal instruction and biblical reasoning with the child will increase. When the child is so young that he cannot articulate or reason with you as the parent, discipline with the rod is the primary means of discipline when he has sinned. But as the child grows, verbal instruction, reasoning from the Scriptures, and helping the child see the desires that rule his heart that cause him to then choose to act, speak, or respond a certain way will then take priority in shepherding them toward Christ.
So how do we teach and instruct? It’s something that we can’t not do. We can’t ignore this clear command. We’re called to impress God’s truths deeply on the hearts of our kids (Deut 6.4-9). Come my children listen to me and I will teach you the fear of the Lord (Ps 34.11). So what does this teaching and instruction look like? I want to provide 7 brief descriptions of our parental instruction to our children.
1. Our instruction must be biblical. I suppose that’s obvious for us as Christian parents but this point cannot be overemphasized. With the incessant pull of media, videos, movies, music, shows, and with the unraveling of the “family” in our culture, we can’t just coast in casual teaching of our children. We must daily show our kids (from the youngest of ages!) what the Bible says, where it says it in the Bible, why it says what it says, and how we must live in response to God’s Truth. Let it be said: we don’t want our instruction to be child-centered or man-centered, but God-centered and biblically-founded. We must be the primary soul-carers (pastors!) of our kids.