Deuteronomy 6 contains very clear guidelines and instructions of how God-fearing families can grow together, under the leadership of Godly parents.
Let me highlight the key elements:
1. IMPRESS them on your children. (v.7)
Impress God's word on your children. The Hebrew word translated “impress” literally means “to sharpen”. Teach Scriptural principles and values in such a way that it leaves a clear mark on the hearts of our children, so that their spiritual understanding is sharpened through the Word.
2. TALK about them when you sit at home and when you WALK along the road. This gives the idea of INTENTIONALITY and spontaneity. Unplanned, impromptu, unprompted, natural.
Make Bible talk so instinctive, children won’t feel you are “lecturing” them (v.7b). Don’t just talk about school work, homework, exams and grades. Talk about “stuff” that truly matter. Subjects that shape and sharpen our children’s spiritual understanding and knowledge.
3. 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 (v8&9).
This is a figurative way to stress the importance of these laws. The idea here is that the Israelites were to constantly have God's commandments in view and in mind, in order to carefully and diligently obey them. Let the Word of God be so VISIBLY SEEN. In an age of multi-media communication, this is so relevant today!
4. When your son asks you, “What is the meaning….tell him.” (v.20-25)
Know your Bible and be ready to answer whatever questions your children “throw at you”. But most importantly, we must have a healthy personal relationship with Jesus and have experienced His goodness, power and love. We have a testimony to share with our family when they ask. We pass on not just head knowledge but heart knowledge. You owe it to them not to be IGNORANT!
You can observe from this chapter that Christian growth is very much a family affair. Families learn together, journey together, mature together and GROW together.
(1) How much of your family time conversations has been about the Word?
(2) Do we as parents take time to instruct, impress, inspire and impart Biblical truths in innovative, creative and spontaneous ways?
(3) Find other families, couples that have successfully found an effective way of faith transmission and learn from each other.
Pray that all families in COR make the Deuteronomy model of the transmission of the faith as our template and inspiration. May more parents be convicted of their responsibility to ensure every member of their family stays together and grows together. May the Lord grant us the wisdom to make the family altar very natural part of family life. Amen.