“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them” Deuteronomy 4:9
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 says, “The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 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.”
The responsibility for the spiritual, practical, intellectual and moral education of our children rests with Christian adults. As Christians we must “be careful, and watch (ourselves) closely so that (we) … teach … (our) children and … their children after them” Deuteronomy 4:9. There can be no other way.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge would agree. The great English poet was once talking with a man who told him that he did not believe in giving children any religious instruction whatsoever. His theory was that the child’s mind should not be prejudiced in any direction, but when he came to years of discretion, he should be permitted to choose his religious opinions for himself. Coleridge said nothing, but after a while he asked his visitor if he would like to see his garden. The man said he would, and Coleridge took him out into the garden where only weeds were growing. The man looked at Coleridge in surprise, and said, “Why, this is not a garden! There are nothing but weeds here!” “Well, you see,” answered Coleridge, “I did not wish to infringe upon the liberty of the garden in any way. I was just giving the garden a chance to express itself and to choose its own production.”
Coleridge makes a good point. A garden needs a gardener. Likewise a child needs a parent who will take the time to plant the seed of the Word, keep the soil of life nourished by a good example, fertilize with prayer, and cultivate the crop in such a way that it will yield a harvest in the years ahead.