Many, if not most, of us grew up within a fragmented educational system. So, while we realize we want to provide better opportunities for our children — a stronger/deeper relationship with our Lord, family ties that last throughout the years, a love of learning that fuels a lifetime of education — we simply don’t know how. Relationships are the key to mentoring.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 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.
Doesn’t sound like tacking “Bible Study” onto our regular lesson plans will work, does it? The foundation of our homes whether from an educational point of view or otherwise, is relationships. And relationships take time.
Our relationship with our Lord must be our focus and our strength before we can diligently teach our children. Without Him we can do nothing. From this relationship our lives — talking, walking, lying down and rising up — will model what we want our children to learn.
We have a relationship with our husband. He not only keeps us steady, but exercises judgment and sound thinking. He keeps us on track and is the wind beneath our wings. One of the best gifts we can give our children is a happy marriage, one where father and mother exhibit the relationship described in Scripture.
We have a relationship with our children. Without a relationship, “do this don’t do that” is simply legalism, demanding an outward agreement that doesn’t touch the heart. When we have a relationship with our children we can always point them back to the Savior whom they ultimately answer to.
Marilyn Howshall once said, “It is our own character and heart that must be trained and then that of our children.” This is so true. We will model what we really want our children to learn, and this is the “school” in which they will learn it: Not from our words, but from our actions.
As God changes our hearts our children will see that, too. Yes, we will fail as models, but then they will see God’s grace and our humility. We are always teaching.
Without these relationships any education is void of the living stuff that makes learning stick. God promises wisdom to those who ask. The closer we walk to Him following the Spirit, the better off our children will be, as we will be conduits through which the Father will pass on to our children what He as prepared for them through us, His servants.
Can you imagine? An education specifically tailored to our children’s needs by their Father in heaven? No education could be any richer.
Let thy religion begin at home. Many tradesmen export their best commodities—the Christian should not. He should have all his conversation everywhere of the best savour; but let him have a care to put forth the sweetest fruit of spiritual life and testimony in his own family…Ah! dear friend, you little know the possibilities which are in you. You may but speak a word to a child, and in that child there may be slumbering a noble heart which shall stir the Christian church in years to come.