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 walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. – Deuteronomy 6:6-7 ESV
Think about this for a moment: If parents were to spend 30 minutes each day, 5 days a week teaching their children the Word of God beginning at age 6, those children would spend 1,560 hours with their parents in the Bible by the age of 18! That number may seem huge, but when placed in comparison to the number of hours our children spend involved in social media, sports, and academics, it is relatively small. As parents, it is so easy to focus on these seemingly important things when our kids are young. However, parents across the U.S. will be celebrating with joy and tears the graduations of their children this month and most will ask themselves the question,
“Did I prepare them for life?”
Before we can answer that question, however, it is important that we as parents understand what it truly means to prepare our children for life after leaving home. Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” It is so tempting to be manipulated by our world into using their standards of preparation for the future such as academics, school involvement, and social and athletic prowess. Parents so often spend hours upon hours involving their children in activity after activity hoping for a bright and successful future for them. The statement is often made, “I want a better chance given to them than what I had.” However, using any of these preparatory measures is like building a straw house if the Word of God is not at the foundation. It does not take a very long look at our world today to see that the vast majority of the “successful” find themselves unhappy, unloved, and unstable. Why is this the case? For this very reason:
To train up a child in the way he should go is not to train up a child in the avenue of success and power but to train up a child in the way he should go is to train up that child in the Way of Life!
We as Christian parents must refuse to neglect the most important ministry that God has given us and that is the ministry to our own children. This responsibility was given to Israel in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 which says, “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 walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” The magnitude of this command was not small but was meant to consume the daily lives of families throughout the nation of Israel! The commands of God were to be the first things coming from the mouths of parents to their children in the mornings, throughout their daily responsibilities, and the last things before resting at night. The New American Commentary states, “Sitting suggests inactivity; and walking, of course, activity. Together they encompass all of human effort. Likewise, to retire at night and rise up in the morning speaks of the totality of time. So important is covenant truth that it must be at the very center of all one’s labor and life.” It is often the reasoning of parents that it is the responsibility of the church to instill Truth into their children. However, what a child gains from parental instruction in the Word of God grossly out measures the effect of the church. While the church is a wonderful source of spiritual growth, it is the parent that is the role model, the disciplinarian, the counselor, and the shelter for their child. We must take those responsibilities and use them wisely by instilling the Word of God in our children.
So, as we plan our schedules and prepare for the days and years ahead, we must ask ourselves the question, “Have I placed the Word of God at the forefront of my child’s life?” It will be the best question you will ever ask yourself.
 Merrill, E. H. (1994). Deuteronomy (Vol. 4, p. 167). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.