The Seven Year Teaching Method
By Israel Wayne
Not long ago I was talking with a friend of mine who homeschools his eleven children. To maintain a close relationship with his children, he often takes a child with him when he makes deliveries for his business. He told me about an experience he recently had with his seven-year-old daughter.
They had to wait a few minutes in the truck before unloading, so he grabbed his pocket bible and began to read to his daughter. Shortly after he began reading he became aware that his daughter was not familiar with the story. This surprised my friend who was certain that he would have told his daughter this well known account in scripture. His older children knew the story and he reads the Bible regularly to all of his children, so how could his seven year old have missed this?
He was reminded of the scripture in Deuteronomy 31 in which God instructed all His people, from oldest to youngest, to review his entire law.
“And Moses commanded them, saying, ‘At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, When all Israel is come to appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it’” (Deut. 31:10-13, KJV).
My Own Experience
As I contemplated this passage I reflected on my life. When I was seven I knew all of the major Bible stories and wanted people to know that I was a Christian. I was the quizzing champ at our Sunday School and won prizes for memorization at VBS. I believed the Bible to be true and wanted to obey God.
Seven years later, at age fourteen, I was faced with an entirely different set of circumstances in life. I was dealing with peer-pressure, struggling with dating issues, transitioning into manhood, wrestling with being submitted to authority, learning about conformity, popularity and fitting in, etc. My relationship with God was at a real turning point.