6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Deut. 6:6-9 should be very freeing to us as parents. It suggests that it is not the curriculum or the tools that are the most important when teaching our children about Christ, only that we take every opportunity. This leaves room for some delightful creativity (also, read a few more verses in, and the blessings that come from this exercise are pretty cool). Here are some ways to promote remembrance, and awareness of God’s faithfulness suggested by Dr. Constable.
“One day in a seminary class, I asked my students to suggest some ways that parents can perpetuate the knowledge of God in their children. A young man proceeded to explain that his wife had grown up in Brazil, where her parents had practiced the custom of writing down evidences of God’s faithfulness to their family, and putting the paper into a matchbox. At the end of each year they glued that year’s matchbox onto others from preceding years. While the girl was growing up, she saw her parents construct a house made out of these matchboxes. When the family ran into trouble, they would open up one or more of the matchboxes, read the record of God’s faithfulness, and be encouraged.
Friends of ours used to keep a special gallon iced tea jar on the counter in their kitchen. When God showed His faithfulness in some dramatic way, they wrote what happened on a slip of paper and put it into the jar. Then, when the going got tough, they opened the jar and reminded themselves of how God had been faithful to them in the past.”
– Dr. Constable’s Study notes on Deuteronomy taken from www.soniclight.com
My sister-in-law Amy had a wonderful idea for bath time. We copied her and coupled it with a Valentine’s Day gift idea for the kids. We picked love “themed” verses, printed them out on card stock, laminated them and put them on a ring. For the shower we got a suction cup with a hook on it to hang them on. Now I can say cheesy things like, “You need to say Eph. 4:2 two more times before you can rinse the conditioner out” or, “You pick a verse for me to read, I’ll read it and you tell me what it means.” Or for the little ones, “every time I read the word ‘love’ you get to splash” (okay, yeah. We probably won’t be doing that last one.)
If you want more ideas, there is a wonderful book and resource by John Piper’s wife Noel called “Treasuring God in Our Traditions.” Also, Ann Voscamp’s blog www.aholyexperience.com has some wonderful teaching ideas. Go crazy!