Do we have enough time for our children? As a father of two children (soon to be three) I think a lot about this question. We must find time to have fun with them and listen to them but also to teach them about important skills, social behavior, the Bible, and our spiritual beliefs. One of my favorite Biblical texts is:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)
The demand of this text is very high. We should teach our children when we are sitting, walking, falling asleep and rising up. We are encouraged to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and might, and teach this to our children as well. It is a matter of practical behavior, not just teaching children biblical stories or doctrines. We are to be a living example of the love of God to our children, to transfer our doctrines into daily life to show our children the love of God in every single second.
As Adventist teachers, it is important to follow these principles in our time with our students to supplement the short time parents can spend with their children in today’s busy world. In some cases, we may be the only ones modeling these behaviors. For example, in the German field of our church, where I work, there are a lot of people who do not believe in Jesus Christ but are looking to educate their children in schools that teach Christian values.
Here are a couple of ideas that may help:
- Promote intensive communication and understanding between parents and teachers. One way to do this is to organize a time to meet with each student and their parents at the student’s home every one or two years in order to get to know them and their family situation better.
- Continuously strive to behave in ways that reflect your personal and spiritual values. Take special time to study the Bible and pray for the Holy Spirit to live in your heart.
- Talk with the children, not just about them. Consider involving them meetings such as board meetings and committees or involving them in decisions concerning the spiritual activities at our schools.
May we all be willing to accept this challenge, as parents and as teachers, and may God bless us as we work to reflect Christ’s love to our children.