I remember well how Holy Spirit God brought conviction into my heart concerning my lack of zeal for teaching the Word to my daughters. In the Fall of 2008, I heard Dr. Albert Mohler (www.albertmohler.com) preach a sermon at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The title of that sermon, if memory serves me, was “How Not to Raise a Pagan.” The text was Deuteronomy 6:1-9, which includes the well-known, but not well-practiced shema.
At the time, my wife had been homeschooling our daughters for about a year, and I had functioned as a laissez-faire partner in the whole affair. God got my attention through Dr. Mohler’s sermon! I began to sense the overwelming task of a godly Dad, which I had shamefully been ignoring:
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 who you rise up (Deut 6:6-7).
Wow! How had I neglected so clear a command and expectation from God? I mean, it’s even re-emphasized through Paul’s pen (Eph 6:4). Up to that point, my wife and I were functioning much like throngs of other Christian parents in America. We left the Bible teaching primarily to the Sunday School teachers. Our homeschool was nothing more than a “school at home.” That is, it reflected the state-run curriculum, only we were doing it at home! Really almost pointless when you think about it?!
The Lord put me at a crossroad that day. By His grace, I began to commit myself to living out Deut 6 in my home. But I am stubborn and my consistency in teaching the Bible to our daughters at first was mostly inconsistent! So, the Lord continued to pursue me (isn’t He an amazing God?). My friend Robert Williams preached a sermon in the early part of 2009, from, you guessed it, Deuteronomy 6!
Then, I received a sale catalog from my friends at Ligonier Ministries (www.ligonier.org). And what was on sale, you ask? When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling by R. C. Sproul, Jr. This book is based on, yep, Deuteronomy 6. The Lord used the combination of these sermons (two oral and one written) to light the flame in my heart for good. I have no intention of looking back!
The blessings of God being showered on my family since we decided to take God at His word and make our home a WSZ (that’s Word Saturation Zone) have humbled us and kept us at the foot of the Cross, singing praise to our King Jesus.
So, it should come as no surprise, then, that Deuteronomy 6 is at the very heart of Cross-Centered Homes. We want to be used by God to encourage and equip parents to live out this wonderful text.
As I have spoken with several Christian parents in the past year or so, I have found that many of them really do want to become what God says they should be – the primary Bible teachers of their children. But, they simply do not know how. Sadly, their parents (many of them Christian) did not open the Bible and teach it to them every day as they grew up. So, today’s Christian parents have never even seen this modeled!
We have seen the need for a major paradigm shift back to obedience to God’s Word in our homes. For too long, Christian homes have tithed mint and cumin while neglecting the weightier matters of God’s Law – like teaching it to the children!
Church of God, rise up! Pastors, rise up! Church Bible Teachers, rise up! Teach parents how to teach the Word and talk about the Word in their homes! “Equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” beginning in their homes (Eph 4:12). Soli Deo Gloria!