By Pastor Jim Wilkerson
According to Deuteronomy 6, the covenant family is God’s primary learning community for his people.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 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.6:4-7)
Christian parents have a platform for teaching with their children that cannot be matched by any program or opportunity in life. Our God, the Creator, who rules over all things, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, who reveals himself in his created world and his inspired Word, has called parents to be his primary teachers of his covenant children.
Therefore the Christian family is a functioning learning community. In Judges 2:6-11 we read,
When Joshua dismissed the people, the people of Israel went each to his inheritance to take possession of the land. 7 And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work that the LORD had done for Israel. 8And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of 110 years… 10And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done for Israel. 11 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals.
When the families obeyed Deuteronomy 6 their children were faithful, but when they failed to teach the children of the covenant the did not know the Lord so they walked in wickedness. God is calling parents to teach, teach, teach. But it is not enough to know that covenant parents are teachers, what must be taught and who is to be taught? It is clear from the above two texts that the true God revealed in Scripture is central to what is taught. He is the true God who has entered into relationship with his people through covenant. Therefore everything that is to be learned is to be understood in the revelation of who God is and what he is doing in relationship to his people. I will seek to build on this idea in a forthcoming article. But in the space remaining here I want to focus on who it is that parents in the covenant are called to teach.
Those who Christian parents are called to teach are covenantal beings. God has entered into a relationship with parents who believe in Christ for salvation and has sealed that relationship with his own blood. These parents do not belong to themselves having been bought with a price. Therefore, the children that are given them are a gift from God to be raised in the promise of the covenant. These children are covenantal beings made for a relat…