“You shall whet and sharpen them so as to make them penetrate, and teach and impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
In others words, teach using repetition, intentionality, attention, and consistency. As the verse says: you need to impress your children with Yeshua. Everywhere and anywhere, and at all times.
Impress them by doing what? What are some practical ways to inscribe our Messiah into the minds and hearts of our little ones? How can we bring them to Yeshua without hindrance?
Well, there are several ways; and though the following may not be a comprehensive list, it is a very good start. And since alliteration is a wonderful form of repetition, here are
Seven Solutions to Schooling Your "Seed" about the Savior
The Word of of God is the most important way we can inscribe Yeshua into the hearts and minds of our children. In fact, it is the very thing that Deuteronomy 6:7 says to impress upon our children. "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16.) All Scripture is also useful for teaching a child about, and leading a child to, Messiah. The entire Bible is about Him. So, what are some ways to get the Word into the hearts of our children? Read from the Bible daily. Read it to them and with them. Make the words of the Bible part of your conversations. Make it a natural, normal thing.
Teaching them memory verses is another good route to go. There are many ways to teach children memory verses. A very effective way to have your children memorize the Word is by putting verses to music. Which brings us to our next way of teaching our children about Yeshua, and that is
Songs are a very effective way to teach the Word and the way to Yeshua. The combination of rhyme, rhythm and repetition makes their words easy to memorize. Think about it – do we get monologues stuck in our head? Large portions of Bible passages? No, we get songs stuck in our heads. Two words: Baby Shark. Bwahahahahaha!
Songs are poetry put to music. This is why so much of the Bible, as well as ancient mythologies and histories are in the form of epic poetry. This is why Hebrew is a melodic language that is often chanted or sung. Psalms are songs. Hymns were once written with great theological truths. If you slept during the sermon, you could still learn something from praise and worship.
There are so many songs that teach us great and simple things about Yeshua. I know hard core atheists who know the words to “Jesus Loves Me,” or “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” or “Amazing Grace.” And yes, “Jesus” is ok to sing; but you can also substitute “Yeshua” and still stick to the classics. You could also make up your own songs as well. Who knows, in the process you could come with something even catchier than Baby Shark (did it again, didn't I?)
Whether you go with a classic, or your own made up ditty, teach your children about Yeshua by singing to them. Also, tell them
While entire books of the Bible are epic poetry, other entire books are stories. Parables are stories, and were Yeshua's main method to teach about the Kingdom. This is why parables are the best scriptures we can read, and psalms are the greatest songs we can sing.
Before someone wrote down the words of God, generations passed them down as stories and songs. The same is true of most of the history we know. It is likely you know more about your family history from stories than anything else. Stories are a wonderful way to teach the truths of the Word and the Living Word, Yeshua. Stories teach truth, share news, pass information and place them in a child’s mind and heart.
There are so many ways to tell the story of Yeshua. I like to think that puppets are pretty effective. Or singing vegetables. Movies. You with a book. There are a wide variety of mediums and methods to tell stories that lead children to Yeshua. The best method of storytelling is you telling your own story. Tell the story of your journey to Yeshua.
Tell stories. Have your children tell you stories. Stories are everywhere. Some of the best stories come from everyday
Find ways to connect your daily activities, issues, problems and pastimes to Yeshua. Look for the “teaching moment", as they say. You don’t have to be heavy handed about it; again, keep it natural and normal. You teach a child about Yeshua by how you handle or approach a given situation. Are you dealing with it in a way that glorifies God? Not to be cliche, but are you handling it with a “What Would Yeshua Do?” mindset? Look for opportunities every day to bring Yeshua into the everyday.
As you do, though, be mindful that you can show Him in every situation. You can sing about Him. You can tell great stories. You can quote the entire Bible; but you, we, fail if we aren’t bearing His image in our
Yeshua said that if you’ve seen him, you’ve seen the Father (John 14:9.) The apostle Paul said to imitate him as he imitates Messiah (1 Corinthians 11:1.) God created us to bear His image to the world—especially to our children (Genesis 1:26.) We are the greatest testimony of our Messiah to our children. This means we have to be His disciples. We have to allow him to shine through us in everything we do. Does that mean we walk in perfection? We cannot. But let Messiah be evident in how we restore His image when we do mess up. As Paul said, encourage them to imitate you AS you imitate Messiah – this could mean, “the times I get it right? Yeah, be like that.”
Also, let Yeshua be evident in how we deal with our children falling short as well. Show them the mercy, patience and forgiveness Yeshua has shown you. And again, when you fail to do so, make it right by asking them to show you mercy, patience and forgiveness. Teach them about Yeshua by leading them to act like Yeshua toward you. Teach them about Yeshua by teaching them to
Yeshua taught great truths about himself and the Kingdom through his stories. He demonstrated those truths by his service. Our actions are going to far outweigh our words when we teach our children about Messiah. Yeshua backed up his words about serving God and others by going all the way to the cross. This took a tremendous amount of humility.
It takes a lot of humility to serve others—especially your family. But it is the best situation you can find yourself in when you are trying to lead your family to Yeshua. Lead them by serving them. And the best way you can serve them and gain the humility to do so?
Which means "pray." As the very wise and entertaining MC Hammer once sang, “We got to pray (pray) just to make it today.” (See, songs stick in your head!)
Pray for your children to receive Yeshua as their Lord and Savior. Pray for them to serve and follow Yeshua. Pray scriptures over them. Pray for the stories you are going to tell them and teach them to tell. Pray for the songs you and they are going to sing. Pray for and in the situations that come your way. Pray for yourself. Pray for your service to them and as a service to them. Pray for them, with them, and about them. Teach them to pray. Teach them to pray as Yeshua prayed, so that they learn about Yeshua. Supplicate.
Finally, in case I haven’t said it enough – but it does bear repeating: use these methods over and over again. Scripture. Songs. Stories. Situations. Self. Serve. Supplicate. Sharpen with them. Stick with them daily. Do them when you are sitting at home, walking along the way, getting up in the morning, and heading off to bed. If you do, you will succeed at teaching your children about Yeshua.
Bringing children—our children especially— to Yeshua is not a one-time thing, it is a daily thing. It is also the most important thing, and the greatest thing we can do for the Kingdom of God on this earth. It is our mandate as parents. It is our mandate as the image bearers of God. Charles Spurgeon put it this way:
“You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, & training them up in God’s fear, & minding the house, & making your household a church for God, as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts.”
Impress your children with Yeshua.