Teaching Our Children As Jesus Taught

The term D6 (Deuteronomy 6) has become a rallying cry in the church, a call to action to help parents to become the primary faith trainers of their children. Verse 7 in that chapter tells us that parents should teach their children diligently, in the comings and goings of life; "as you sit in your house, as you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." When I study how Christ taught, I see Him put this command into action in ways that we can imitate as parents. I pointed out some of His techniques in my book, Parenting Unchained, starting on page 127:

Jesus Used Ongoing Events to Teach Important Truths

Although He was eternal, Jesus lived very much “in the moment.” He taught by referring to ongoing events. For example, when his disciples were fighting about who would be the big shot in the coming kingdom, Jesus put a little child in the middle of them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name, receives Me” (Matt. 18:3–5).

Near the end of His life on earth, He observed human behavior in the temple. Thousands of people filed through, some making a great show of their generosity. He spotted an event everyone else had overlooked, an old and obviously poor woman making her contribution to God’s treasury. “Calling his disciples to Him, He said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury’” (Mark 12:43).

Educators call this technique “seizing the teachable moment.” As events occur, as disputes arise, as life is lived, look for the teachings that naturally rise out of those moments. Every positive circumstance is a chance to thank God for His provision. Every negative circumstance is a chance to ask for God’s wisdom or deliverance. And in the gathering weight of a thousand little events, the big attitudes of love, trust, and thankfulness are taught. They are not taught in the Sunday school hour, as beneficial as that might be, but on the drive to school, in the line at the grocery store, or during the suggestive commercial at halftime. In these “along the way” moments, parents have their greatest opportunity to share God’s truth.