The Catholic educator, Francis Xavier, once said, ”Give me the children until they’re seven, and anyone can have them afterward.” When Hitler wanted to subjugate the people of Germany and then the world, he first took the children and put them in youth camps. That gave him control. Marx and Ingells advocated replacing family education with social education. Every major revolution begins by targeting the young.
And God has stipulated that parents teach the children His commandments. Let ”these words of mine be in your heart and teach them diligently to your children” (Deuteronomy 6:6,7). God says that your home is to be a law school, where tender minds are implanted with the Word of God. But, it must be first in the minds and hearts of the teachers: parents.
But, how are we told to communicate the great eternal truth? Note that ”you are to talk of them when you sit in the house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (verse 7). We are to teach convincingly by practicing what we teach! Parents must be sure that what is taught is in their own hearts and lives. We are to teach consistently, day in and day out! There is to be no let-up. And, we must teach creatively, like Jesus, who saw opportunities in ordinary things to teach profound lessons. There are so many things around the house and in daily life that provide objects from which our children learn valuable lessons.
Now consider two more ways to teach:
Teach them conversationally. That is, to teach them in the normal course of the day’s activities. Teaching is not done exclusively in a class where facts are crammed. When a child asks, “What does this mean?” take advantage of his curiosity to teach (Deuteronomy 6:20). Let conversation and talk times be occasions to imprint God’s eternal truth. Faith is caught as well as taught!
Teach them conspicuously. ”Bind them as a sign on your hand and as frontlets between your eyes, write them on the doorpost of your house” (Deuteronomy 6:8,9). What’s the idea? The Jews took it very literally and made little boxes called “phylacteries” and fastened them on their heads and wrists. It is doubtful that God meant to do that literally. But, having His Word ”between the eyes” surely means to let it control our thinking. And to have it ”on the right hand” is to let it control our actions. At least His Word is to be conspicuously practiced in life.
The point in all that Moses said is this: be sure the Word of God is evident in your family - in teaching and in practice.