The Greatest Text Message | Deuteronomy 6:4-9 | Devotional
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 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.
The Jewish community was serious about teaching their children. Strict training was implemented early on. They knew their faith was one generation from extinction. They could not afford to drop the ball with their kids. But notice in our passage today, the duty of instruction was not on the youth group in the synagogue. The responsibility for teaching children sits squarely on the shoulders of parents.
First, parents must love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and strength. The commands of Scripture “are to be upon your hearts;” that is, you must believe and live the word of God. As I heard one of my favorite seminary professors say over and over, “You cannot impart what you do not possess.” Once you have it, then you can teach it.
Second, parent must love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and strength, enough to impress it on their children. This is not simply a “now, sit still and listen children” teaching time. This passage tells us to tie spiritual training into all the conversations of the day. Whether sitting, walking, lying down, or getting up, we are to be teaching our children. God’s word should instruct the actions of our hands, and the thinking of our mind, and the attitude of our heart. It should be the first thing we experience as we enter and the last thing we think about when we leave and do our daily business in the world.
So parents, remember two things:
- As important as Sunday Schools, and youth groups, and Christian education are, the most important training will come and must come from you. Tag! You’re it!
- You cannot impart what you do not possess. The training of your children starts with you!