“Hear, O Israel: 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 on 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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NIV
Children learn in more than one way. Of course, they learn by hearing and by doing but they also learn by watching. I have no doubt that one of the ways that the apostles learned not only their mission but how to carry out that mission aside from the words that Jesus spoke to them was to observe how he dealt with people and situations.
The same goes for our kids. Like I said, yes, they learn from hearing what we say to them and around them. Yes, they learn by doing things that we’ve told them to do, but they also learn by watching how we deal with people and situations.
So, what are they learning from you? Parents, grandparents, what lessons are they picking up from you on how to deal with successes? How about with disappointments, things that make you angry. What about those times when things don’t go according to plan and you need to adjust?
What about those times when you don’t necessarily agree with something. What do they learn from you? Do they learn to complain about it or do they learn to accept the things that they can’t change and move on? Do they learn to respect authority, not just you but other adults? Do they learn to be reverent during worship and focus on God or do they learn to occupy themselves some other way…say on a phone.
Do they learn that God’s commands are not up for negotiation or that they can pick and choose which ones they want to obey?
There are many more that I could list but I think you get the idea. Teach your children. Teach them not only with words but also by example.