These commandments that I give to 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.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7
When I became pregnant with our first child, I did quite a bit of reading on the subject of pregnancy, labor, and delivery. About a month before my due date, I realized that maybe I should be doing some reading about what do once the baby actually arrived! There are a great many “parenting manuals” on the market today, and every author leads the reader to believe that his ways are the right ways even though the next book on the shelf may outline a completely different philosophy with just as much authority.
For the Christian parent, there is one parenting manual that far surpasses all others; The Bible. God’s word is full of rich wisdom and instruction for parents. In this passage from Deuteronomy, He tells us that His commandments should not only be something that we know in our heads, but they should be on our hearts. We are to “impress” them on our children. When I looked up the word, impress, some of its synonyms really stood out to me: arouse, awe, enthuse, excite, inspire, move, stimulate, stir. Wow! That’s a whole lot more than God just saying “Tell your children about my commandments.” He even tells us how to go about doing this. We should be talking about them. All. The. Time.
Now that we have a 2 year old and an 8 month old in our home, our days are often times just about meeting everyone’s needs and surviving until bedtime. In order for us to get from just surviving to thriving, I seek to find more ways to make sure our family’s day to day life is focused on our Heavenly Father. I want these precious gifts from God to fear, love, and trust in Him above all things, and I look to the ultimate parenting manual for help in accomplishing that.
Thank You for sending your Son to die for our sins and rise again so that we might live with you in Heaven forever. As we go about the daily tasks of parenting, help us to find ways to impress this on the children that you have so graciously entrusted to us so that they may know your commands and know Jesus, whom You sent to save us.
Practical ideas: In addition to prayers and hymns before naps and bedtime, and our nightly Bible story reading, I’ve also gotten into the habit of singing the Matins liturgy aloud every morning as I’m unloading the dishwasher after breakfast. What are some other ways to talk about God when we sit at home, walk along the road, lie down, and get up?