“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:5-9
This passage has had a profound impact on my life as a parent. I often wonder, what did it mean to the Israelites? Did it simply mean that they recounted the stories of Abraham, Moses and Joshua to their children at bedtime? Did they use those stories as moralistic lessons of what character qualities to emulate and which ones to avoid?
When the Israelites taught their children about scripture, they were teaching them about God’s faithfulness. That was the purpose behind the celebrations and feasts–to remember all that God had done for them. The stories they told their children weren’t merely stories with a good moral, they were reminders of God’s active role in their lives. The stories recalled God’s salvation, providence and goodness.
This passage weigh’s heavy on my own heart. I want my children to know Him as I know Him. I want them to be in awe of His holiness and blown away by His grace. Yet my first instinct comes from the depths of my Pharisaical heart. I automatically lean toward moralism–do this, don’t do that and remember the courage of David? If that’s the God I teach them, they will never know the God of grace and faithfulness.
To read the rest of this post, visit CSAHM.