“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 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” (Deut. 6:6-7, ESV).
God has told us to teach our children His Word as we go through our day. The more we, as parents, know and love God’s Word, the easier and more natural it will be for us to use it as we train our children throughout the day.
I would like to propose a challenge to you for the next week. Let’s devote just five or ten minutes a day (or more if you can), getting to know a Scripture passage better, and then next week, you’ll be armed and ready to put it into action in your home.
From now until next Tuesday, April 19, read and study 1 Corinthians 13. We all have plenty of room to grow in loving each other. Probably many of the discipline issues that arise throughout the day stem from the need to actively show love to others by putting their needs above our own. For the next seven days, study this powerful and concise chapter on godly love. Then next week we’ll talk about ways to train your children with the truths of this passage.
Each day this week, read the entire chapter at least once. Read from different translations each day, if you would like. (www.BibleStudyTools.com offers many translations if you don’t own more than one.) Pray each time before you read. Ask God to teach you from these verses.
In addition, select a different task each day to complete from the following list:
- Try to memorize one verse each day. If you don’t think you can memorize the entire chapter, focus on verses 1-8. If that is still too much, try to at least memorize verses 4-8. It will make next week’s project easier.
- Read at least one commentary on the passage. (Go to BibleStudyTools.com if you don’t own a commentary. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible is a good commentary. You can even view the complete version or the concise version online. Other commentaries, in addition to these two, are also available at BibleStudyTools.com.
- Pray at least once, using the passage as a basis for your prayer. Put the pronoun “I” in place of the word “love” as you read, especially in verses 4-7. Does your life demonstrate godly love? Confess your faults and weaknesses and pray for God’s grace to grow in love.
- Write each separate verse on a card and carry the stack of cards with you to review while in the car, the bathroom, or the grocery line. Or write the verses on sticky notes to post over the sink, on the bathroom mirror, on the car dashboard.
- Draw little pictures that help you remember the different phrases of the passage and post them around the house (i.e., a little stick figure pushing at mountain can help you recall verse 2, or two cymbals clanging together can remind you of verse 1).
- Meditate on the passage. How can each aspect of love be practiced in your own life? What areas of love are most challenging for you? Write a specific list. Pray for God’s guidance and grace to help you grow in these areas.
- Meditate on how the passage can be practiced in the lives of your children. What circumstances challenge your children’s faithfulness to love each other? Should you work on demonstrating love through better manners at the table? Are tattletales “delighting in evil” instead of “rejoicing with the truth?” Are some “insisting on their own way?” Pray for God’s guidance, and make a specific list of ideas.
Don’t give up if you can’t do all the projects. Do your best, and study the passage as much as you can. Make the most of every opportunity you can get. You are preparing yourself for next week’s training opportunities.
If possible, do your studying while your children are awake and aware of what you are doing. Let them see that you are reading and studying God’s Word.
- Answer their questions if they ask what you are doing, or why you are posting verses throughout the house.
- Ask them to help you draw your little pictures.
- Have those who can read quiz you as you memorize.
- Invite them to memorize along with you if they show an interest.
- Read the passage with them if you want.
- Explain that you are studying this passage to gain a better understanding of how God wants you to love others.
- Share what you are learning with them. Has God convicted you of your impatience? Tell them.
Next week, in Tuesday’s post, we will discuss how to put this passage to work while training and disciplining your children. For this week, your goal is to become as familiar with the passage as you can. Let’s pray for each other throughout the week!
If you want, drop in with a comment during the week and let us know how it’s going!