“And these words that I command you today [i.e., the Law] 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.” Deu 6:6-7
If we accept that we are to teach the Law to our children, then what does that mean? Memorizing the Ten Commandments? Reading through the five books of the Law – Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy – every year? Keeping the Law of God as Christians? I have my own opinion which I believe to be Scripturally sound, but be that as it may, this is a discussion the Church needs to have. (Start with Galatians and be very sure we are reading it for what it says and not what we have been told it says.)
Each family, each father must take this question to the Lord and receive direction from His Spirit. But a key is not to have a head knowledge of the Law only, but “these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.” God is after our hearts, and obedience must come from the heart. For if we have the knowledge of the Law only, without our hearts loving the Law for the Lord’s sake, and fearing the Lord for His holiness which the Law teaches (for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom), we might become puffed up with knowledge like the Pharisees whom Jesus reproved.
How can a child be kept under guard by a Law that is not enforced? For the Law was added because of transgressions, and children without boundaries are a terror. Clearly the Law was meant to be obeyed.
Children who are raised in Christian homes come to the crossroads, usually as teens, whether they will receive the family faith and relationship with Jesus for their own. One dynamic I observed in our family was trying to live rightly without the new birth and failing, over and over, no matter how committed.
“The Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to all who believe.” Gal 3:22
Trying to live rightly and failing, produces the realization in our children that they have not just been told they have been confined under sin – they are confined under sin and cannot escape it. They are learning the truth of the Scripture by personal experience, and that learning is necessary. They are learning that even though they know the Law and are trying to obey it, they cannot. Now they are ready for true repentance (can there be salvation without repentance? I do not believe so) and placing their faith in Jesus Christ in order to be made right with God.
Martin Luther taught that the Law must be preached to an unrepentant sinner, while grace must be preached to a repentant one.
family law, part three
family law, part four