Mother's Day 2018 // Teaching Faith
- What is one practical thing or skill that you’re thankful your mom or dad taught you when you were growing up?
- Is there any practical thing or skill you wish they would have taught you? Why?
- If you’re a parent, what are some of the ways you teach your children practical things in life?
Whether it’s how to change a tire, how to cook on the grill, how to make cookies, or how to balance a budget, parents teach children all the time, even if they don’t know it. By our attitudes, words, and our actions we are constantly training our children. But if we are families of faith, we must not only teach our children how to live in the world; we must take an active role in teaching them the truth of God. Faithful families teach their faith to the next generation.
- Did your parents teach you about God and His Word when you were growing up? If so, how did they do it? If not, how did you first learn about God?
- What are some of the ways you are actively teaching your faith to the next generation?
Families are one of the primary means God has given to us through which faith is meant to be taught. He emphasized the active and continuous nature of this teaching in the book of Deuteronomy.
Ask a volunteer to read Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
- Why do you think God told His people not just to love Him, but to love Him with all their hearts, souls, and strength? What was He trying to emphasize?
- Why is loving God with your whole self important if you want to teach faith to your children?
We can’t teach what we don’t know ourselves. And we can’t help our kids love God with everything they are unless we know what that means ourselves. So, God told His people to love Him, and then as they love Him, to teach the next generation to do the same.
- Why is it important for parents to see their responsibility for their kids and at the same time help kids see that they are responsible for their own choices? How can that happen?
- What was the truth parents were to teach their children? How were they supposed to teach these truths?
- What do you think it means to “impress” God’s commandments on your children (v. 7)?
God wanted this faith teaching not only to be something that happens at a scheduled time; He wanted it to be ingrained in the culture of the family. These verses emphasize the regular and continuous effort at teaching the faith. This teaching happens when you get up, when you go to sleep, when you’re inside the house and outside of it.
- Why is consistency so important in teaching faith?
- What are some everyday opportunities you can take hold of in order to teach your kids?
- What about scheduled times? Is your schedule too crowded for things like a daily devotion time?
In verses 7-9, there are some teaching methods that might sound strange to us. We don’t usually bind God’s Word on our hands or put it as a symbol on our foreheads. The bigger principle here is one of consistency. That’s how we impress God’s commands on our children—it’s through consistently and regularly talking about them and living them out together as a family.
Ask a volunteer to read Proverbs 22:6.
- Does this verse mean that children in godly homes never leave the faith or make bad choices? If not, what does it mean?
- Why is this an important verse to hang onto? How can it help you persevere as a parent?
Each of us, including our children, are ultimately responsible for our own actions. Parents are not responsible for the choices their children make; however they are responsible for modeling and teaching them what it means to live Christian lives. Proverbs 22:6 isn’t a promise that children from Christian homes will never make bad choices; it describes, however, the way the family is meant to work. By following God’s Word, we can raise children who avoid evil and serve God faithfully.
- For you, right now, what is the most challenging part when you think about taking a more active role in teaching faith to your family?
As parents, we can’t shirk our responsibility. It is our job to raise our children in a godly way. We must actively do this; we can’t hope the church or the schools will take our place. Faithful families teach their faith in a consistent way to the next generation.
- What is one way you are going to God's command from Deuteronomy in your home this week?
- What, specifically, can we pray about for your family and children right now?
- What is one way you can more consistently pray for your children and their faith?
Pray and thank God that He is the perfect Father. Pray that the parents in our church would embrace their responsibility to parent their children in a godly way. Also pray for any of the specific requests from the families in your group.