In a six-part series, we explored family devotions—the importance of it as well as ways to structure the time, to overcome obstacles, and to keep the gospel central. A regular family devotions time enables us to systematically disciple our children in “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27 NKJV). But God’s Word should so permeate our hearts and minds that we naturally talk about it throughout the day with our children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
God’s command to the Israelites to teach their children His words is reiterated to believers in the New Testament. After instructing children to obey and honor their parents as taught in the Ten Commandments, the apostle Paul admonished parents, “Do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 NKJV).
In order to diligently teach God’s Word to our children, we must first treasure it in our own hearts (Deuteronomy 6:6). When we are deepening our love for the Lord and saturating our minds with His Word, talking to our children about the things of the Lord will be a regular overflow. In an effort to be more intentional, for a few months I kept a journal about opportunities I had to point my children to the Lord during normal events of the day.
Here are some entries from my journal. These moments are not intended to be replicated but to be examples of implementing Deuteronomy 6 teaching in day-to-day life. Many of my journal entries include analogies (tying a life event or an item in creation to a spiritual truth). As you share, seek to be gospel-centered.
Journal of Deuteronomy 6 Teachable Moments
- Tuesday: My young children got scared and ran to me when there was a loud series of fire alarm tests in our apartment building. When we are afraid, we run to someone stronger, and that should ultimately be the Lord. I reminded the kids that God is in control and that He is with us. We talked about how a fire alarm is good because it warns us of a fire so we can escape. God’s Word has fire alarms, warning us about the lake of fire and how to escape the punishment for our sins through trusting in Jesus.
- Wednesday: My child confessed doing something wrong while I wasn’t watching. We talked about how God always sees us, even when Mommy isn’t looking. We can’t get away with secret sin. Through a song, we’ve learned this verse: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3 NKJV).
- Thursday: We were playing in a room where the curtains were closed. We talked about how there was a curtain in the temple separating the holy place from the most holy place. When Jesus died, that curtain was torn in two (at that point, we flung open the curtains), symbolizing the access we have to the Father because the flesh of Jesus was torn on the cross for our sins (Matthew 27:51; Hebrews 10:19–22).
I no longer keep a journal of my Deuteronomy 6 opportunities, but perhaps I’ll begin writing them down again if I find myself falling into complacency. Teaching my children diligently must spring from a heart that is captivated with the glory and grace of the Lord and saturated with a personal knowledge of His Word.
May the Lord bless you with wisdom as you seize the opportune, fleeting moments to teach your children along the way. “From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15 NKJV).