Teach the children

How do we teach the children? I have been wrestling with this question over the last couple of weeks. I wasn’t happy with the education I’d offered my children this year. That’s not to say they didn’t learn anything, or that they didn’t improve in multiple areas, but I wasn’t happy with my side of it. There was something missing.

“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. ~Deut. 11:18-21

Teach the Children, the Good Book Says | Use principles, not rules. | ladonnaharris.com | #parenting #loveYahweh #walkasYeshuawalkedOver and over again throughout the whole Bible we, as parents, are called to teach the children, to tell the children, to instruct them, to correct them, to lead the children. Too quickly (in my opinion) we need move from a parental role to that of mentor in an effort to partner with them into their adulthood.

Too often I find myself holding tight to the parenting role. I don’t want to give up the control. I have so many rules and restrictions! I feel that I know best, that I’ve been through it all (not hardly, of course) and that I know the correct choice for them to make in each and every case. I focus on my selfish desires for their lives and for mine. I say yes or no based on how their request affects me and my plans for the day. I rarely take into consideration their need to grow and develop and improve on this skill or that. I am too quick to disapprove of an activity because it’s on inconvenience.

But Why?

I think the best God-given trait in children is that question – Why? Without that insatiable curiosity children would never grow up. They’d never explore the world outside their immediate surroundings. And yet, as a parent this WHY is the bane of my existence and I quickly fall into the age old answer – because I said so. You know what? I said I was never going to use that answer because as a child, I hated it as a kid. It totally rips them of all their power, leaving them hanging without a reason to go on. (Okay, that’s a little extreme, but sometimes, that’s how it left me feeling.)

So, How?

The Bible says, talk, instruct, teach, correct, lead, remember. Shout it from the roof tops. In every single aspect of life.

You know those people – the ones who find God in EV-ER-Y-THING??? I think they might have the right idea…. At least that’s what I’m learning these days. We have to find Yahweh in everything that we do and say. We see him in nature. We talk about a similar situation found in the Bible. We share how this act or that is something Yeshua would do, or not do.

How do you get better at playing the piano or speaking another language? You immerse yourself in that. You practice. You speak. You read. Everything you do comes back to the piano or speaking that language. You live and breathe piano or ASL.

We have to talk and talk and talk, but more than just talk, we have to remember and show. What better way to teach someone than to have them join you in the process. So, teach the children, immerse them completely – teach them math by doing math. Show them how to balance the books. Let them watch you pay the bills each and every month. Teach the children history by reading history with them. Teach them about their grandparents and your grandparents by telling them stories, by writing those stories down for future generations.

But it’s more than that. We aren’t simply teaching our children to live in society but we are teaching them to turn their eyes to the future – to eternity. And that’s why we bring everything back to walking as Yeshua walked, to thinking as he thought, to teaching as he taught.

And Then?

Change your rules to principles. Take those restrictions right down to the very basics. Why did you feel the need to institute that rule?

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” ~Matt. 22:34-40

Can you bring your rule back to this very basic guide? Every thing we say and do comes back to love. Not the eewie gooie romantic love. Sometimes it’s that tough between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place love. And sometimes it’s just simple kindness. Or respect.

Teach the Children

So, I’m changing how I teach my children. We’re gonna be talking and reading and gaining knowledge. We’re going to be interacting not simply as parent/child but as mentor/protégé. As two people navigating this world together, teaching each other to love 1) Yahweh with our WHOLE beings and 2) to love others, to be the neighbor we’re called to be.

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