BUILDING our CHILDREN ‘FIRMLY’ upon GOD’s WORD: "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deut 6:6-9)
As we read through the book of Deuteronomy, one thing we should understand is that God repeated all these instructions through Moses because of their importance of laying them as a firm foundation for the future generation. In fact, God wanted the parents to teach these commandments to their children as their prime responsibility in life!
In order to impart wisdom to children, it required that parents would need to spend time with their children on a daily basis, and telling them about the commandments of God, instructing them in the ways of God, and modeling for them a Christ-centered lifestyle. This would be like the “Show-and-Tell” model. On the one hand the parents would teach their children clearly what was right and wrong according to God’s standards (“Tell”), on the other hand the parents would live before their children as godly, righteous life examples (“Show”).
The primary reason for doing this is because children mimic their parents through what they see of them in both words and action within the confines of their homes. Through seeing their parents, they form mental images of God, their heavenly Father. So, parents have to help their children see God clearly and the unconditional nature of His love (remember the love of the father in the story of the Prodigal Son). To do this, parents themselves need to learn from God about how to love God and others making that a permanent imprint in their outward behavior.
The above passage in Deuteronomy speaks to us regarding the fact that we need to build our children’s lives in the firm foundation of God’s Word. Someone has made the following acronym from the word “FIRM” as Familiarity, Interest, Recognition, and Modeling. That is how we can "train up a child in the way he should go..." (Prov 22:6). As parents, we need to use every opportunity to teach biblical truths, so that our children can implement them in their lives. We can build upon their natural interests and talents, utilizing them as our teaching opportunities. As we share our personal stories (witness) and those from the Bible (devotion), we can also model godly lives before them!
We can thus teach God’s Word that reflects God’s love to our children while firmly building them up in godly ways. We can direct them to salvation through Christ, and model before them the importance of godly living. Let us strive to build our children on the firm foundation of God’s Word everyday!