“Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul
diligently, so that you do not forget the things
which your eyes have seen and they do not
depart from your heart all the days of your life;
but make them known to your sons and your
“Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when the LORD said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’”
Monday’s Bible reading is Deuteronomy 4–6. Last week I quoted Dr. Gleason Archer on one of the principle themes of the book:
“The characteristic admonition is: “Remember, and forget not!” Rather than embarking on some quest for “new truth” to replace the old, Israel is to retain and to obey the revealed truth which it has once and for all received from the absolute and unchanging Source of truth.”1
As you read these chapters, you’ll find that one of the ways the Israelites were to“Remember, and forget not!” was to teach their children God’s Word. One of the most familiar passages regarding this command is found in Deuteronomy 6:
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
I know personally that one of the best ways to really learn something is to have to teach it. Teaching the law of God would have been a continual reminder to both parent and child of what God had commanded. In these verses the Israelites were also commanded to talk of God’s law continually with their children in their daily activities.
These verses are important for us. R. K. Harrison writes:
“This verse [verse 4] begins the celebrated Hebrew Shema, consisting of Dt. 6:4–9; 11:13–21 and Nu. 15:37–41, which is recited in the liturgy twice daily by pious Jews. Christ added the phrase ‘with all your mind’, and described vv. 4 and 5 as ‘the first and great commandment’ (Mt. 22:;37, 38; Mk, 12:29, 30; Lk. 10:27).”2
If you want your children to love God with all their heart, soul and might, then teaching God’s Word and talking about it with your children is an integral part of child training. You cannot simply take your children to church, you must yourself, teach, discuss and help them understand God’s Word in their daily lives. As a mom I had many opportunities to talk with my children about God and help them develop their understand of life and people according to God’s Word (AKA a Christian worldview!). I still do, but the years at home are the more intense years of time and influence. In my first post on Proverbs, Proverbs 1: Wisdom & Children, you can read of a Bible study I did with my children on Proverbs.
You must keep teaching and keep talking. Small steps and short talks that meet them where they are and take them further in their understanding work far better than long, hypocritical lectures, because if you want your children to love God with all their heart, soul and might, then you must also lead the way by example. Your children live with you, you know, and you can’t fool them. That’s not to say that perfection is the order of the day, but honesty, humility and a continual seeking of God by their mom in her own life will underwrite your teaching and talking.
“Remember, and forget not!”
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
1Gleason Archer, “Deuteronomy,” A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, p. 253.
2R. K. Harrison, “Deuteronomy,” The New Bible Commentary: Revised, D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds., A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds., p. 215.
Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter