Teach your children well: Deuteronomy 6
by Dr Bob Dellinger
Today’s reading: Deuteronomy 6.
If you don’t do it, it won’t get done. I’m talking about teaching your children God’s word. It’s up to you. It’s your job. And I’m not talking about just taking your children to church or saying a goodnight prayer. You’ve got to teach them the stories of God’s miraculous encounters with men. You need to tell them, and show them, how God changed your life. You must get God’s word into their hearts.
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up … In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the LORD our God has commanded you?” tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7, 20-21
Who? You and your children.
Where? As you sit around the house and as you ride around. As you eat and as you play.
When? First thing in the morning and last thing at night and as opportunity allows during the day.
What? The meaning of God’s word and the wonder of God’s actions.
Why? Because this is God’s plan for passing the faith to the next generation. Our failure to do this is why fewer and fewer people in each successive generation are professing faith in Jesus.
“But I want my child to make his or her own decision.” So you hide the truth from them? This attitude only makes sense if one doesn’t believe it is the truth.
“But that’s what church is for.” At best your child will get a couple of hours of teaching a week at church. How much time are they learning from friends, school, the internet and videos? Each day! Now, how much time are you going to invest?
“But these are just Bible stories.” And stories are powerful! Our lives are made of stories we tell about ourselves and others. They take root in our psyche. They excite our imagination. They bring dry words to life.
We are, all of us, people of one book – one collection of stories – or another. The Jews have survived all their persecution and displacement for millennia because they took Deuteronomy 6 to heart. They are people of the Book of the Law. What book will define your children? The book of cable TV and commercials? Of Facebook and movies? Or will you do what only you can do and teach your children well to remember God’s mighty hand?
Image by Dexter on Flickr. CC by-nc 2.0