By Cindy Palmer

 

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 reads: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your hearts. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk about them as you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 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.”

 

Dear reading friend; how does this verse read to you? What does it mean to you in your responsibilities as a parent? Let’s look first to verses 5 and 6. To whom do these verses apply? They read, “You are to love the Lord and you shall have these words in your heart.” So these verses apply to us all. As such we must learn how to accomplish this. How do we get the Word into our hearts? First and foremost we must read God’s Word and read it regularly. What is the priority of each day? What do we accomplish in a day to say it is complete—a success? What is it in a day that you never miss doing? Are you ever lying in bed at night thinking, “Wow, I didn’t even have time to eat today—I’ll make sure I fit that in tomorrow.“ Or perhaps, “How could I go a day without checking out how Oprah or Dr. Phil said I needed to handle solving that problem I have in life? I better make sure I watch how they resolve all my life questions tomorrow.” Or, “The kids didn’t even get to school today because they were tired and just didn’t feel like hearing the same thing again. I better make sure they go next time or else the school administration will be on me!”

 

Is daily time spent with God even on the radar screen of our busy lives? Do we view time spent in prayer with our Heavenly Father as life sustaining as our daily food? Is checking out what God has to say on the issues of life of more importance than the daily talk show host? And what of planning your life around the schedule of Worship and Bible class over the sports, activities, and school your children attend? Begin today to make the words of the Bible fill our heart so you then can pass it on to your children. We cannot pass on what we ourselves do not know and our children will recognize it if we don’t find it important enough to study daily.

 

While you are getting the Word in your own heart you can teach the Word of God to your children. One doesn’t have to be a Bible scholar to teach his children, just the willingness to study—and the desire to obey—the command to teach them.

 

Like in all of life, when God tells us to do something He also shows us how. Verse 7 tells us to teach our children diligently. It is to be our focus and wholehearted effort. We are to frequently speak of God and His words to our children so they will overflow with the knowledge and love of Him! How does God provide for this knowledge? First, He has given us the Bible and we need to uphold it as the most prized possession we own. The Word leads us into all godliness and directs our paths (Psalms 119:105 and 37:23) so it should be seen as important and should hold a special place in our family life. Read it aloud to your children, and expound upon the wonderful heroes the book describes. Introduce your children to the majesty and wonder of the powerful things God can do. What little boy doesn’t love to hear of giants, lions, battles, and sea adventures? What little girl doesn’t become entranced in a story of a queen or the adventures of becoming a wife dearly loved or a mother blessed with children? Sing songs of blue skies and fighting soldiers and even hippopotamuses! Spending time with your children introducing them to their Heavenly Father shows them the importance God has in your life and will build His importance in theirs.

 

Finally, in verses 8 and 9 God told them to remind themselves by placing the Word around them. They wore scripture, they had it on their doorposts and gates. These were to be daily—even constant—reminders of Who they were serving. We today can do this by making teaching a part of all we do during the day. It is about having a Life education, not just a Bible class education. All of life should be about teaching God and His love for us! Inspiration tells us in verse 7 that we are to spend our time talking to our children while we are at home doing daily tasks. We can talk of how God has blessed us with the food we eat, the home we live in, the family we love and He who loves and cares for us. When we travel through the day we point out the rainbow after the storm and God’s promises that He keeps (Genesis 9:13-16), we notice the birds in the air and discuss the love He has for us in that not even one sparrow falls to the ground without His knowing (Matthew 10:29). The stars in the night show the awesome power and majesty of His creation (Psalm 8:3- 4). When you meditate on His Word (Psalm 1:2) and then pass it on to your children as Lois and Eunice (2 Timothy 3:15) then your children grow minds and hearts after God.

 

So, how important is nurturing godly character in your life and in the lives of your children? Is what you spend the majority of your time with your kids doing pointing them toward heavenly things or earthly things? Do we focus more on grades and things this world sees as accomplishments or do we emphasize qualities and standards which lead to an eternal reward? Being interested in sports, academics, and friends is not wrong at all, but the priority should be pointing our kids toward Christ and things eternal!  It is our responsibility to be the spiritual educators to our children and grandchildren. That is what God is emphasizing in Deuteronomy, chapter 6: The importance of His Word and the importance of passing it on to future generations. God wants it integrated into our everyday walk. Others around can help but as parents, we are the ones commanded to instruct our children and to live it daily for them to emulate. So, first, get the Word in your own heart and while you are learning be busy teaching the Word to your children everyday, everywhere, all the time!