“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 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.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9
This is September and when I was a kid school had just started. Now the kids go so early and some are even going year round. I don’t have a particular teacher that stood out as far as school. I pretty much liked them all and didn’t have too many troubles with any of them. I was one of those kids that learned the facts well enough to get good grades on the tests and then moved on.
This morning I was thinking about school, teachers and tests. I was also thinking about the things we learn in school. I am so grateful for all teachers. You have a pretty daunting job. I hear some of the teachers say I teach the test. In other words, they teach what the kids need to know just to pass the state test that tells them whether or not they can move on. The kids learn so much more today than I did and they do it at an earlier age.
I was reflecting on what I thought was the most important part of educating a child or young adult. I began to really think about who my greatest teacher was. I suddenly realized it wasn’t any of my teachers, although I had some pretty awesome ones. My greatest teacher was my mom.
Mom and Dad made sure I got my homework done and turned in on time. They made sure I strived to get the best grades I could. But, what my mom taught me was not taught in schools then or even today. Some of the best lessons my mom gave me were how to cope with life, how to turn troubles into lessons, and to faith have in God. The lessons my mom taught me prepared me for some of the biggest tests of my life.
Tests are important in life. Tests tell us if we’ve learned what was taught to us. If we fail a test we know we have to keep learning until we master it and pass the test. The biggest tests I have had to take were not in school. They were not simple things like who won WW2 or who discovered America or what the answer is for 236×190.
My mom taught me early on how important church was and how important church attendance was. We were there almost every Sunday. We went to Bible School, Sunday school and I went to church camp. When we weren’t in church I usually saw my mom reading the Bible or studying for a class she was taking. As a young adult my mom often talked to me about how important it was to stay true to God through the dating years. She would talk to me about how disappointed God would be if I sinned and then she’d add….so will I. After I got married my mom and I went to the same church and I can remember mom and me joining Bible Study together and being in the Women’s group at church. She taught me how important those things were. She prepared me for some of my biggest tests in life.
My mom did not have good health. She was in and out of the hospital more than I can count or even remember. She used to laugh and say her stomach looked like a road map. The one thing I never saw my mom do was giving up or be depressed about anything. Like most moms she worried, but when she did she also prayed about the thing she was worried about. She taught me to pray when things didn’t go well and she taught me to pray when I was worried.
Because of the education I got from my mom I can honestly say I have passed some tests really well, while others I had to relearn what she taught me.
What I am wondering about today is what our mothers are teaching their kids today. I know some have put more importance in sports than in dragging them to church. So many of our moms work so when it comes to Sundays our moms are worn out and the comfort of a bed is more inviting than the comfortable pews in our churches. I know there are some parents who insist their kids go to the best colleges so they have them studying to get in to those well known colleges. I love sports, but I am not for sports when it takes away from our kids being in church. As a mom I had a daughter who played sports, but the coach knew better than to schedule any games until after church or she wouldn’t be there. I am all for kids going to universities and getting the best education they can, but the question remains what will happen to these kids when they have to face some of the biggest tests in their lives? If God is not taught in the homes who will they depend on to get them through the rough spots? When worries come along will these kids know about prayer? Will they know there is someone who loves them and wants to walk alongside them and help them pass the tests of life? Our divorce rate is so high I am afraid the kids of today are not learning about commitment. They are learning if you don’t like something or someone it’s easy to just throw it away or be done with it. My mom taught me marriage was for keeps. I have passed that test well. We have been married 40 years. Did we want to call it quits? Yes. Did we want to throw it away and walk away at times? Yes, but our moms taught us we had made a commitment and we needed to stay and work it out. If God is not in the home how will they know to work it out? If the Bible is not taught or read to these children how will they know what love is all about? Some of these kids only know about the Ten Commandments because of all the controversy not because they have read them.
I am afraid we are turning out children who can do well in sports, are smart and good at making money, but I worry our kids may not pass some of their biggest tests they will face.
Our kids need to be taught more than what the school is teaching. Our kids need to be taught there is more to life than passing academic tests and doing well in sports. Our kids need to know there is a God who sent His Son to come live among us and died so they might be free. Our kids need to know that when it’s time to take the tests this life has to offer they need not sweat it because there is someone who will help them pass this test; that they have someone they can fully rely on.
Maybe it’s time as moms and dads, grandparents, Aunts and Uncles we rethink what we are teaching in our homes. Maybe it’s time to teach our young folks how to pass the test of life and come out on top. Maybe it’s time to grab our dusty Bibles and sit with our kids today and teach them some of the greatest lessons in life. We have some great names in History but in the Bible we have some great life changers who can teach us so much more about how to deal with everyday things.
What are your priorities when it comes to educating your young folks in the family? Are you just preparing them to past academic tests or are you preparing them to pass successfully the tests of life?
Dear God thank you for educators, thank you for homework and for opening our minds to new things every day. Be with our parents who are bringing up the next generation. Remind them there are lessons to be learned at home. Help them open their Bibles and begin a conversation on some of the great life changers in the Bible. May your name be mentioned in our homes as much as sports figures, or those from History. Help us start educating our children on You and Your Son and the love you have for them. Be with our moms and dads and give them the urgency to get our kids back in the churches and off the fields. Remind us of our priorities and how it fits into your plans. Bless each child and young adult and may they grow in you and be able to pass the tests of life. Amen