“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 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 heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when 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.”
The apostle Paul declared that all scripture is inspired by God and is profitable. That means that every page of your Bible has something valuable to teach. However there are clearly some passages that speak more loudly than others and this text is one of those. It is from this passages, that Jesus declared the most important of all the commandments. He said that above all else we should love God with all our heart, soul and strength and that we should love others as we do ourselves. These two principles are the foundation stones upon which all other commands are built. If we love God first and express that love toward others we will find that we are well ahead in keeping the remaining requirements of Scripture. Moses was told that the principle of being in a love relationship with God was so important that it was to be taught to each and every generation. It became the primary responsibility of the parents to instruct their children regarding who God is and what a relationship with Him was all about. Moses even goes so far as to explain how this instruction should be given.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.”
Before a parent can instruct a child on how to follow and serve Christ, they must follow Christ themselves. The parenting style, “do what we say not what do” will result in raising children who fail to see the value of walking with Jesus and lack a model for how to make godly decisions in real life scenarios. We do not need to be perfect as parents but we do need to determine that we will put God first in our lives and seek to please Him with our behavior, goals and lifestyle. The compromises we make will often be magnified in our children. But how do we teach the principles of God to the next generation?
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when 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.”
Moses implements a teaching style that uses life as a backdrop. Instead of turning the living room into a classroom he suggests that we make life our classroom. Our homes should bear the marks of a family that has put Christ first. It is not enough to have a bible verse hanging on the wall, that verse ought to be the atmosphere within the home. When our kids come in they ought to be met by a model of what it means to be in a love relationship with Christ. When they head out they ought to be prepared to share it with the world around them. We can do this by using everyday life to instill biblical truth within them. When a child is mistreated by a friend, this becomes an opportunity to instruct them on how to love, forgive and show mercy. When a child loses a big game it becomes an opportunity to weep with those who weep and to help them learn that ultimate victory often has to travel the road of defeat. Whatever the situation our children are facing we can use these as an opportunity to instill the principles of scripture deep within their hearts