“Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen” (Deuteronomy 27:16).

Quite an interesting verse—a curse from God Himself is associated with the light esteem of parents. Yet it seems that our society today does just that.

The English phrase setteth light is a translation of the Hebrew word qalah, which means “base, condemn, despise, lightly esteem, set light, seem vile.”1

Have you ever been made to feel like a second-class citizen because you choose to stay home with your children? Judging by that kind of reaction by society today, in which the role of a parent is regarded as one that should be despised or lightly esteemed, and given the fact that parents who embrace parenthood for all it’s worth are made to feel that they are fools, it’s no wonder our children are being farmed out to the lowest bidder.

We have been lied to about parenthood. What has been exalted in its place is self-fulfillment. Instead of raising children up to discover what God has created them to be, we give the kids to nannies, daycares, and public or private institutions to raise, while parents go out and search for the fulfillment of their own dreams. It seems quite backwards. And for the most part, this scenario produces a desolate place where families are falling apart or barely holding on for survival simply because each member within the family doesn’t know his or her own purpose.

The cycle continues as these children grow up and have families of their own, only to continue the search for purpose that they never discovered as a child. Then they push their children out of the home as well, to somehow find out why they are actually here.

In the meantime, our children, who were meant to have parents as their primary educators, are being outsourced to any caretaker who is readily available. But for those who want to get this parenting thing right, and who desire to teach and train their own children, let’s answer the questions of how, what, and why parents should teach their children.

How Should Parents Teach Their Children?

Deuteronomy 6 declares this to be a side-by-side, moment-by-moment instruction. Jesus knew this and taught His disciples by living among them and waking, eating, sleeping, praying, and ministering together. If we are followers of Christ’s example, then this is how we should be discipling our children as well.

What Should Parents Teach Their Children?

I always go back to Psalm 1 when I am not sure where my priorities should be in educating my children:

  • “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

We should teach our children in a set-apart manner so that they are not under the tutelage of the ungodly or fellowshipping with sinners or those who scorn God.

  • “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

We should teach our children that the Word of God and the commandments of God are delightful and worth thinking about all day long, and all night long, and in every subject under the sun.

  • “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

We should teach our children that if they want to be successful in any endeavor in life, they must delight in God first, and then God will surely bring forth the fruit He has prepared for them to bear for His glory.