There is a passage in Deuteronomy that says, “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children–” (Deut. 4:9).
This is a daunting responsibility and more than most people have the ability to tackle–at least it would seem. Some find it difficult enough to educate themselves in the way of the Lord, so how are they to teach their children and grandchildren? And to think that they also have the responsibility to teach their children’s children could seem almost impossible especially these days. But it must be possible or God wouldn’t say so. This is the plan of God that we come to master God’s will so that we live it and teach it to others.
There is a Proverb which says, “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Pro. 22:6). If it does not hold true 100% of the time, it is at least generally true that children who are raised right will stay right. If you teach a child from a very young age the value of truthfulness, and impress upon him the evil of lying, then he will grow up to be truthful. When he is old he will not depart from it. If a parent teaches a child the goodness of God and all ways that His goodness is manifested, then the child will be impressed and when he is old he will declare it to his children. It is possible to train our children in the ways of God, and it is essential too.
Moses wrote that parents have the ability and responsibility to raise faithful children to the Lord. It’s not going to happen 100% of the time, but excuse making is not helpful. If we will acknowledge that some children go wrong when taught right, we must also acknowledge that many go the wrong way because they were not taught.
Moses wrote that this responsibility extended to teaching the children’s children. What is the best way, though not the only way, to accomplish this? Certainly a grandparent can and should speak directly to those little ones about the will of God and it would be very effective. But the first way, and maybe the best way, to accomplish this is to teach their grandchildren through teaching their own children. To explain, if a parent sits down with her children at night and talks to them about life and about God, about growing up and getting married, and about having children of their own, there is an opportunity to help them in their own childrearing. A wise parent can instill into her young a desire to grow up godly, to marry godly, and to raise their own godly children. Done right, the grandparent has already helped the grandchildren to know the Lord. Moses says that grandparents have a responsibility to make God’s commandments known “to your children and your children’s children.” And one more thing, if we raise our children like us, then we may have set the way for our children’s children’s children to know the way too.
Age of ability and accountability
Moses in the Promised Land