Oh say can you see…
Are you singing it yet? You’ll have the Star Spangled Banner in your head all day now.
There is incredible power in the repetition of words. It is why we will never forget the Pledge of Allegiance or the words to Ice Ice Baby. (Or maybe that’s just me…)
There are words contained in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, known as the Shemah, that were of great importance to the ancient Hebrews. It was their core prayer, a statement of identity, and one of the first sections of the Bible that jewish children learned. So, when a Hebrew heard “Hear O Isreal…” they would immediately recall the truths about God that had been ingrained in their memory from childhood.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9
This Shemah has much to teach us today. It points to how we may also never forget what is most important, and what we are to teach to our own children.
1. Love God and Love His Word (vv. 5-6)
I cannot impart something I don’t possess. If I want my kids to have an intimate, thriving relationship with God, I must make it a priority in my own life. God must be the center of my life. Not my career. Not my dress size. Not even my children.
My heart, soul, and might must be God-centric and when they are not (because my heart so easily wanders) I must stir up my affections for Jesus. Spend time in the Bible. Stay connected to a local church. Worship God with my lifestyle. And let my kids see me at it.
Do one thing to do today to help you towards intimacy with God. Here are a few suggestions:
- Start a Bible reading plan.
- Get back into a local church.
- Grab a journal and write out a prayer to God.
2. Talk about God with Your Children (v. 7)
There is a popular quote out there by St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the gospel at all times; use words when necessary.” While I understand the heart behind his thinking, too many Christians today stand behind quotes like this and believe that others will come to faith in God solely by observing the lives of those who follow Him.
Sharing the Gospel with my kids cannot be haphazard. They will not learn about Jesus by osmosis. I must be specific and steadfast. Just like the text itself tells us, I must talk about Jesus when I sit in my house. I must point out the hand of God as we walk on our way. I am to give them Jesus at bedtime and Jesus at breakfast.
The command here in Scripture is to give every opportunity we can to tell our kids about Jesus. Here are a few ideas to try this week:
- On the way home from church, ask your kids what they learned while they were there.
- Share something with your kids about what you’ve learned through the Bible recently.
- Point out something beautiful in nature and mention how glad you are God gives us such gifts.
3. Create Reminders and Rhythms (vv. 8-9)
Life is busy. Distractions abound. And it is all-too-easy to forget about the spiritual health of my children. Having a time and a place to intentionally build into the spiritual health of my children makes for natural, easy ways to share about God.
Mealtimes are often a great time to talk about God and learn His Word with my kids. We’ve memorized verses together, just by reviewing it over the breakfast table several days a week.
Our driving time in the car is one of my favorite ways to remind us of God’s Word. Seeds Family Worship, and the audio version of The Jesus Storybook Bible are some of our favorites. (affiliate links present)
Pick one thing to implement this week:
- If you don’t already, pray together before each meal.
- Look for a “time and a place” in the rhythm of your day — breakfast, bedtime, after school — where you can begin to engage in God’s Word together with your kids.
- Post Scripture up around the house as a reminder of God’s love for us.
In the next post of this How to Share the Gospel series, we’ll look at the nitty-gritty of WHAT to communicate to your children when sharing the Gospel with them.
Grace-clinger. Truth-speaker. Pastor’s wife. Mommy of three. Auburn fan. Loves to equip others to walk with the Lord for a lifetime.