Monday, March 25, 2013

teach them all the time...

Had a baby shower for a loved one this weekend.  such a joy to see how God has blessed their family with the coming of a sweet little babe!  and while it made for a weekend that was quite busy, there was much time spent in God's Word leading up to this shower, as i was asked to share a devotional.  

now, i know you weren't at the shower, and you may not be expecting a baby.  but since there are a lot of mommies that read my blog, i thought i would share the words that God blessed me with.  so, read on if you like, comment if you want, or just ignore it if you prefer.  :)

I want to share some encouragement.  And what better place to find encouragement, than from the book of the Lord God?  But I want to start in a place that may feel a little unexpected.  I would like to start in the Old Testament.  

Deuteronomy 6:5
“You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. “

So much beauty in these words.  The call to love the Lord God with all my heart, soul and might in this verse is a beautiful reminder that I personally go back to over and over again.  He is God and I am a man, His creation.  That very fact alone, demands that I honor Him.  I also recognize I am a sinner, like Romans 3:23 says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  And my sin, has consequences, Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  He, the Son of God, died for me, paid my penalty, and I have been forgiven of every wrong I’ve done from the moment I believed, Romans 10:9 “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” The fact that He would do that for me is astounding!  And that is why a believer in the Lord God should and will strive to love the Lord God with all their heart, soul and might.  This is true, not just for me, but for any person who has trusted Christ as their personal Savior.  And so that is our daily goal as a child of God. 

But what about my child?  Well, In more recent years, God has drawn out Deut 6:7 to me.  Let’s read it and break it down as we go.

“You shall teach them (these commands to love God) diligently to your sons (meaning your children) and shall talk of them when you sit in your house (meaning whenever you are home) and when you walk by the way (anywhere you go) and when you lie down (till the last moment of the day) and when you rise up (it should be on your mind from the moment you wake).”

Essentially, we called to be so in love with the Lord that His Words are always on our mind and always coming out of our mouth.  We are to teach our children anywhere, anytime about the Lord, and it will come naturally when you are loving Him with all your heart, soul and might. 

A great example of this is King Solomon. 

In case you don’t know, King Solomon was the son of King David of Israel.  He was blessed from God  with wisdom beyond that of any other human, and he wrote several sections of scripture.  He wrote a Psalm of prayer to the Lord, and a Psalm of dependence on the Lord.  The book of Ecclesiastes is about life (to put it simply), the Song of Solomon is love letters back and forth between Solomon and his bride, and the Proverbs are lessons of wisdom to his son. 

Proverbs 1:8-9
“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction    And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head and ornaments about your neck.”

Proverbs 2:1,2 & 5
“My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, Make you ear attentive to wisdom, incline you heart to understanding… Then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.”

Proverb 3:1 “My son, do not forget my teaching…”

Proverb 4:1 “Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father…”

Proverb 6:20 “My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother…”

Over and over again, Solomon calls his son to listen to what he is saying.  This implies that over and over again, Solomon and his wife are teaching their son the things of the Lord. 

Let us take a lesson from Solomon.  Let us make effort to teach our children the wisdom of God at every opportunity. 

Now, I did say that for a believer loving the Lord, this teaching will come naturally.  But that doesn’t mean it will always be easy.  It will take effort on our part to study the Word and be prepared to teach them.  It will take time out of our day to sit down and explain to them the amazing character of our God and the wondrous things He has done.  And for every family, the style in which you teach your children will look a little different.  But always, always start with the Word.

Now, being the wisest man on earth, Solomon has lot of wise things to say.  And since we know that all scripture is inspired by God, like 2 Timothy 3:16 says, we can trust what Solomon has written.  So Proverbs can be a great place to start when you are teaching your children.  The book of Proverbs is full of wonderful bite size truths, perfect for little people with short attention spans and growing memories.  Things like avoiding bad company (ch. 4), seeking wisdom (ch. 8), to work hard and yet not strive after wealth is a theme though out the book, and a description of what a godly woman looks like is given in chapter 31.  And little boys especially seem to listen attentively to things like chapter 26:11 “Like a dog that returns to it’s vomit, is a fool who repeats his folly.”  I guess Solomon knew that young men needed to be cautioned about being a fool, and gross analogies stick in little boy’s heads.  

But again, whether you use Proverbs or other sections of scripture, may I encourage you to be like King Solomon, who diligently teaches his son the things of the Lord over and over, all throughout the day and in any place. 

We know that we cannot change the hearts of our children, and that only God can save them from their sins.  So we strive to make sure that our heart is in line with what Deuteronomy calls us to be.  We are careful to make sure that we are loving the Lord God with all our heart, soul and mind; and to be teaching our sons and daughters the truths that He has put in His word at any and every opportunity that we can. 

There is blessing that comes with obeying the Lord God.  Let our children know those blessings because we have taught them to obey the Word, and may we know those blessings because we are obeying God by teaching them His truth all the time. 

1 comment:

  1. You know Sarah, every time I read one of your thoughtful posts I think what a gift for exhortation God is growing in you. Keep on.


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