18 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. 19 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. 20 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 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.
What would happen if as parents, we modeled the Gospel in our home? What if our lives were infused with God’s Word, that when we rise, lie down, speak, and walk, it would mirror God’s heart? What effect would this have on our children and the next generation? The Bible shows us here in Deuteronomy that Gods Word and His commandments are to be evident first in our homes and our everyday life. Parenting can be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do. Let’s look at some examples of how we can apply practical ways to lead our families.
As parents or persons involved in leading children, we need to saturate our homes with the Gospel. This doesn’t necessarily mean to have a daily devotional at the dinner table at the exact same time every night and pray as a family at a pre-determined time. Life happens sometimes and cannot always allow such regimented routines. We must look to take advantage of every opportunity throughout our day to model the Gospel. As the Scripture points out, it should be evident in all aspects of our lives, not just in brief moments. Your daily routines should be filled with thanking and praising God, leading your children to see His hand at work.
Saturating your home with the Gospel begins with your own walk with Jesus. Kids will be able to tell if you are not modeling the very thing you are urging them to model. We cannot ask them to behave and feel sorry for disobeying; if as a parents we are not vulnerable ourselves and allow our children to see us model repentance. As Pastor Boyd brought out in the sermon “More than just a Parent”, it’s not just about what we teach them, but what we model to them. Our children will model everything we do. They will model how we treat our spouse, our neighbors, and others we have relationships with. If you fall short, make sure you show your children the path to repentance and God’s grace. Don’t show them the path to pride and denial of sin. Worship and love Jesus with all of your life, in all you do, and this will be the foundation for parenting and raising up children who will desire to know God themselves (Luke 10:27, Prov 22:6).
An action step that you can take moving forward depends on assessing where you are in respect to parenting and your personal relationship with Jesus. As a parent, make sure your own personal relationship with Jesus is secure and founded in the Gospel. Make sure it is healthy and strong. Surround yourself with people who are modeling this well. Look for opportunities you may not be taking advantage of in everyday situations that will point children to the Gospel.
If you are single or do not have children, then find someone with kids that you can walk along side with and encourage or serve. It may be a single parent where the child is lacking a certain influence or the parent is overwhelmed. You can have influence over children whether you’re a parent or not. Do not overlook the potential you have over the next generation in whatever circumstance you find yourself in today.
Here are some resources that Pastor Boyd mentioned on Sunday to help you as you disciple your children: