Sometimes I'm short-sided in the teaching of my children. I lead them in morning prayer and Bible reading before school and think nothing more than that we are starting the day off on the right foot. I help them memorize chunks of Scripture and listen to them recite them to me as I cook dinner in the evenings, wondering if they will forget the verse in a few weeks when they've moved on to another one.
I forget that they are actually hiding God's Word in their hearts. And then I catch a small glimpse of them using their knowledge in life and I'm reminded that they are, indeed, learning and understanding their Bible more and more each year.
Last week, my husband was writing a paper and needed to cite a Biblical reference about money. I suggested that he write about the Parable of the Talents.
Spontaneously, our daughter piped up and said, "The Parable of the Talents is found in Matthew Chapter 25." Then she proceeded to quote a verse from the chapter.
Of course, when my husband flipped open his Bible to confirm that she was right, he was grinning from ear to ear.
On the down side, the kids also use their Biblical knowledge for argumentative purposes. In the heat of a fight, I'll hear them hollering, "Lying lips are an abomination unto the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight. (Proverbs 12:22) " or "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."(Matthew 23:12).
LOL! I really wish they wouldn't fight, but I can't help but chuckle when I hear them banter back in forth down the hallway. I always wonder how some kid on the playground would react if my kid told them a Bible verse in the middle of a dispute over being cut in the line for the slide. What would they say if my kid yelled, "But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.(Matthew 19:30)"?
That's not exactly how I would prefer them to use their knowledge, but I guess it's a very primitive form of Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another."
Hopefully, when they are older, they'll use their knowledge of Scripture in context, and for good reasons.
Last night the kids were rewarded for their hard work in memorization. All three of them attend an AWANA club at church where they gather together to memorize and understand Scripture. They were rewarded for their diligence with certificates, medals, trophies, pins, and ribbons. Those things will one day be lost or broken, but the verses they learn and the knowledge they gain will stick with them for years. One day, when they're grown and gone, those words they memorized as a child will come back to them in time of need, and will be a comfort to them in times of trouble. It will be a reminder to them of how they should live their lives.
As parents, we need to remember that our teaching is not in vain. God will honor our feeble attempts to train up our children, and He will make something beautiful of it.