Deuteronomy 6:4–9 (ESV)
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And 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. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
God has given children to you for you to teach them. I have often thought, how? Perhaps you have thought that too? How do I teach my children about Jesus, faithfully?
Maybe you have had doubts? “I am not equipped to teach children.”
Maybe you have thought someone else could do it? “I send them to Sunday School. We go to church.”
However, the truth is that if you are a parent, you have been called to teach your children. God will equip you to teach your children. And, you are the best person to teach your children.
Teaching your children is actually fairly simple. Read. Sing. Pray.
Reading scripture is easy and your children probably love to be read to anyway. The best thing you can do for your children is read the Bible to them and have them see that you read your Bible on your own too. This will foster a love for God’s Word that runs deep. A great way to read scripture to your children is to read Luther’s Small Catechism to them. You can make it a game to teach them how to memorize the main parts of the catechism. Reading the catechism to your kids is like having them listen to a mini-sermon that is tailored especially for them.
For younger children, The Jesus Storybook Bible is also an excellent resource though it does require some discernment because of the reformed bias of the author. The Ology is a great option for children who are a little older, with the same discernment required.
A great full text Bible for your kids as they begin reading more and more is the My Very First Holy Bible – ESV Translation. If your child is a little closer to Middle School, the Faith Alive Bible – ESV is an excellent choice. The ESV Bible does a nice job of staying true to the original text while still being readable. Pastor Schultz typically preaches from this translation as well so your kids can follow along during the service.
Singing is an excellent way for us to respond to God’s love and children love music! Music is something you take with you everywhere you go. Whether you are playing it from your smartphone or humming the tune, music is powerful to help capture the mind and move the soul. Sing the first verse of some of your favorite hymns or a song from church on Sunday.
Pray with your children and let them pray too! Start by asking them something or someone they are thankful for and someone they can pray for. Model prayer for them. When all else fails, pray the Lord’s Prayer or get your hands on a useful resource like the Lutheran Prayer Companion or The Lutheran Book of Prayer.
This is also a great template to follow for worship in your home. Missing church because the little one is sick? Read. Pray. Sing.
Traveling or on vacation? Find a Gospel preaching Lutheran church and Read. Pray. Sing.
Looking for more resources to study Scripture?
ORLC’s services and a few Bible Studies are available via YouTube.
Ambassador Publications is an Association Free Lutheran Congregations (AFLC) ministry. They are providing a number of free resources including Sunday School Curricula, devotions, and Bible studies. They also have a bookstore where you can purchase various books and Ambassador Hymnals for your home worship.
The Being Lutheran Podcast is hosted by AFLC pastors, Brian Ricke, Brett Boe, and Jason Gudim. They spent over 3 years going through Luther’s Small Catechism, carefully examining each part and doing Bible studies related to each portion. They recently started working through the Augsburg Confession.
Servant’s Pen is a blog written by various pastors from the AFLC including ORLC’s Pastor, Nick Schultz. Articles are published weekly and range from devotional to instructive, depending on the week and the author.
The AFLC has complied a directory of churches that are offering online services. You can check them out and worship with our Free Lutheran brothers and sisters.
Pastor Brian Wolfmueller has been working on publishing Martin Luther’s writings that are in the public domain. He isn’t trying to make a buck so that means that you can download PDFs of some of Luther’s best writing and study the scriptures with Dr. Luther. If you are new to the writing of Luther, I recommend you read the Large Catechism or Freedom of the Christian first.
CPH has a number of free resources available right now. You can check out their devotional, Portals of Prayer as well as other resources for Bible study, worship, and for the home.