You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 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.
When it comes to parenting, the first task is to be the kind of person you want your children to become. Be a model of loving and obeying Jesus.
Then you will be ready to teach their children God’s Word, the “words that I command” (Deut. 6: 6). When God tells parents to talk about them “when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise,” he is not calling us to give our kids a non-stop theological lecture. The fire-hose approach doesn’t work very well with children. Rather, God’s point is for parents to always be alert to the teachable moment, at all places and at all times. Bring God’s Word to bear on the situation, both in private (in your house) and in public (by the way), both in the evening (lie down) and in the morning (rise).
He goes on to make a similar point with verses 8-9: “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.”
God’s Word must govern all we do (our hands) and all we think (our foreheads). It must govern all we do privately (houses) and publicly (on your gates).
God is saying to parents: Teach your children God’s Word in every situation, all though the day. When your child lies, when your child has a fear, when your child is nervous about a test, when your child is hurt by a friend, when you lose your temper, when your child doesn’t want to go to church, when you buy a new car, when your child gives part of his allowance to God, in all these situations bring God’s Word to bear. Seize the teachable moment!
But remember: Your first focus is not teaching, but doing. Love and obey Jesus yourself, for when it comes to parenting, the aphorism is true: More is caught than taught.