Among the more important childrens Bible lessons is understanding what the Bible says about loving God.
In Deuteronomy 6:5 we read: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” This is a foundational truth we must teach our kids as they grow up. Their supreme love — out of all the things that contend for their affections — must be for God alone.
I want you to notice that the broader context of the early verses in Deuteronomy 6 are about parents teaching their children. This means that the words in verse five are spoken directly to parents. More specifically, the verse is teaching that it’s not just that we teach our kids to love God supremely. First and foremost this verse is commanding parents themselves to love God supremely. We cannot pass a love for God on to our children which we ourselves do not possess.
I think the late pastor Ray Stedman was right in emphasizing that “we can’t expect our children to be changed unless something has changed us,” and that “we can only communicate what we ourselves have discovered.” He urged, “We must start with ourselves. And then we are responsible to pass on to our children what we have been taught and have learned and discovered in our own experience.”
As Deuteronomy 6 goes on to indicate, the method we are to use in teaching our children about God and loving God is to relate what the Scriptures say to the context of all of life — when you sit down, when you walk around, when you lie down, and when you rise up. As you go about your day in the normal circumstances of life, teach your children about God and loving God. God must be recognized everywhere in life.
The Christian home ought to be a place where God is present in our lives just as salt is present in the sea. It should be utterly natural and normal to talk about God in the home — to relate to Him, and to break into prayer at any moment.
A Principle to Remember: Be a doer, not just a hearer.
The mere teaching of the Scriptures to our children is not enough. We must make sure they translate the teaching into application and transformation. This is the obvious instruction of Deuteronomy 31:12: “Assemble the people — men, women and children... — so that they can listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of this law.”
Notice that there are three reasons given for gathering the people (including children) together:
(1) so they can listen to God’s instructions;
(2) so they can learn to fear (or reverence) the Lord; and
(3) so they can obey God’s commandments.
Notice also that “listening” and “learning” are listed as separate items. Do you see significance in this? I do. A clear implication is that one can “listen” without “learning.” In other words, a person can hear God’s instructions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he or she will follow those instructions and translate them into daily application.
As we teach our children, we must continually emphasize the difference between knowing something and applying it to our lives. It is not enough that our kid’s heads get crammed full of Bible knowledge. The instructions from Scripture must be translated into daily life and applied (see Colossians 1:9-10).
~ Shortcut to Understanding ~
Here's how you can share a lesson with your child:
Suppose I was wishing to enjoy some delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies. How can I make this wish come true? What must I do first?
First I must get a chocolate chip cookie recipe. Do I have cookies yet? No, not yet.
Next I’ll get my ingredients — flour, sugar, butter, salt, soda, eggs, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Now do I have cookies? No, not yet.
Next I’ll get out my big mixing bowl, my cookie sheets, my measuring cups, and my spoons. Do I have cookies yet? No, not yet.
Why not? I have everything I need for cookies — a recipe, ingredients, and dishes. What needs to happen next? I bet you know.
Of course — I have to make them! I have to apply the recipe. I have to “do it”!
It’s not enough to have the directions and all the materials. If I want homemade cookies in my life, I must make them. We have to be “doers” of the recipe.
So it is with Scripture. We should be doers of what God asks, not just hearers!
 Ray Stedman, “Life: The Teacher,” 18 February 1973, Guidelines for the Home series, Peninsula Bible Church.
 Stedman, “Life: The Teacher.”
— Dr. Ron Rhodes