When it comes to parenting, the first task is to be the kind of person you want your children to become. Be a model of loving and obeying Jesus. Then you will be ready to teach your children God’s Word, the words that God commands.
When God tells parents to talk to their children when they sit, walk, lie down, and rise, He is not calling us to give our kids a non-stop theological lecture. The burst-dam approach doesn’t work very well with children. Rather, God’s point is for parents to always be alert to the teachable moment, at all places and at all times. Bring God’s Word to bear on the situation, both in private (home) and in public (along the road), both in the evening (lie down) and in the morning (get up).
He goes on to make a similar point in verses 8–9: “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” God’s Word must govern all we do (our hands) and all we think (our foreheads). It must govern all we do privately (houses) and publicly (city gates).
God is telling parents to teach their children God’s Word in every situation all though the day: when your child lies, is afraid, is nervous about a test, or is hurt by a friend, when you lose your temper, when your child doesn’t want to go to church, when you buy a new car, or when your child gives part of his or her allowance to God. In all these situations, bring God’s Word to bear. Seize the teachable moment. But remember, your first focus is not teaching, but doing.
Love and obey Jesus yourself, for when it comes to parenting, the aphorism is true: more is caught than taught.