Impress them upon your children…
Deuteronomy 6 is one of my favorite chapters in scripture. God has told Moses to prepare the people for their upcoming freedom into the promise land by declaring his commands to the people.
God gave Moses 2 commands. The first one is one of the most popular commands in the Bible. In the New Testament, Jesus called it the greatest command.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
The Israelites had been in the wilderness for several decades now. Their parents had died in the wilderness because of their disobediance. God was giving this new generation a new chance. He wanted them to know that they had to love him with all they were. A love for their God had to consume them. They had to know that it would be their God who would take them into the new land, it would not be them. The previous generation didn’t have this love. That is why they wouldn’t go into the new promise land. They were afraid of the giants of the land.
God didn’t only tell them to love him, but he also told them to teach it to their children.
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.
Why was this so important to God? If it wasn’t that imortant to him, it wouldn’t have been recorded for us to read & apply to our own lives.
I think that when we realize the mercy that God showed the Israelites by not killing them for their disobediance, but rather letting them die off, we can understand the importance of generations of believers to our God. It is so important to God that we raise up future generations of believers. That is why God first instructed the people to love him. It starts with the parents. Then we must give it to our children.
I looked up this word “impress” or “teach” (KJV). It means to sharpen or shape. How cool is that! When we teach our children to love the Lord their God with their whole heart, soul & strength we are sharpening them. I can’t help but to think of a sword. When it is sharp, it is used to defend. A sharp knife is used to shape something to be useful. The word of God is sharper than a two edged sword.
What is shaping your child’s mind & character? Did you know that the average American family spends less than 30 minutes a day discussing spiritual matters? What are they doing the other time? Well studies show that a child in school (public or private) spends on average 14,000 seat hours in school in grades K-12. If that same child is only getting 30 minutes a day of spiritual discussion at home that is only 2,372.5 hrs during the same time frame, K-12.
You have to wonder, who is impressing our children? We only get one chance to invest in the lives of our children…what are we investing?
What are your impressing on your children? Do they know who God is? Do they know him as their Creator? Ya know in public school your kids are not taught that God created them, so what do they know about who they are?
Start young telling your children who God is. Tell them from the beginning that God knows everything & is everywhere. Start young showing them that your God is so very important to you. They know what & who is important to you, no matter what you say.
Not too long ago I was taking one of my children with me on an errand. They were having a difficult time with a friend. My child made the comment, “I’m glad that God knows how to help me.” I asked, “How do you know that?” “Well, you & Dad always say that when you are having trouble that God knows what you should do, you just have to wait for him to show you. You told us that God knows everything & when we are ready he will share with us what we need to help us.” I wanted to cry! I wasn’t sure if this child ever heard anything I say, but he had not only heard, but had watched his father & I live it out. That was proof it him that it worked. What a blessing!
We live in such a dangerous world & the enemy is working overtime to lure our children in by false hopes. Impress on your children to love the Lord their God with their whole heart, soul & strength. Let them see you living this command out & they will see the blessings of obediance in your life.