4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 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. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7, NKJV)
August is upon us, and the beginning of school is right around the corner (can you believe it?). I’ve seen the school supply lists in the stores. We’re getting ready to bless the backpacks for the school children. We’re donating uniforms and school supplies. Many parents I know are breathing a sigh of relief as a “routine” can once again be established with children, and things can get back to normal (well, as normal as things get in most households). It’s a busy time of preparation and anticipation.
Our children spend, on average, 900 to 1,000 hours per year in instructional time in the classroom. That’s a lot of time learning reading, writing and arithmetic (among other subjects), and we parents are diligent to see that our children learn all they can. We know the value of a good education, and what’s more, our government mandates that we educate our children. We know the value in teaching and in teachers. So, we invest the time and resources to insure learning takes place. That’s a no-brainer.
We also invest a lot of time teaching our children other things, too. We teach them how to play sports, and perhaps more time and money is invested than ever before with the proliferation of sports academies and sports camps. We invest in the best teachers for our children when it comes to music, or dancing, or cheering, or…(you fill in the blank with the activity that your child is a part of), and we engage tutors when they fall behind in school. We want our children to learn from the best so they can be the best. That, too, is a no-brainer.
I am reminded by the words of the ancient scribe in Deuteronomy that the greatest classroom is not at the school house, nor at the sports camp, or the cheer camp, or the music studio. The greatest classroom is the home, and the greatest teachers are parents. We have been entrusted with teaching our children the lessons of faith. See, the church is not the place our children learn those lessons. They’re meant to be taught in the home. The church is here to come alongside parents to support, encourage and strengthen those values and principles learned in the home. Faith is a family affair. It was never intended for our children to “discover” their faith on their own. Faith is meant to be a family tradition. Are we passing on the tradition?
For all the hours our children spend in the various classrooms of life, they’ll never spend more hours than in the classroom of the home. The value our children eventually ascribe to any activity or area of life will likely be derived because of lessons learned (or not) in the home. May our children learn the value of trust in Jesus Christ because we parents have lived it in our homes, and we’ve invested the time and resources to teach our children the lessons that will make the most difference in our world and in their lives, not only today, but eternally. That really should be a no-brainer, too.
Until next time, keep looking up…