Parents: You First

Baby Holding Dad’s Finger on Bible
“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.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9

These words present a divine order.

First, love for God must permeate all of your being. This great commandment, and the others, must be at the core of who you are. If you don’t start here, the instructions that follow will be meaningless.

Second, parents must impress on their children this supreme command to love God with all their being. And the rest of the commandments must have a prominent place in their hearts. The Hebrew word that is translated impress means to repeat continually. God instructs parents to talk about Scripture in the home from morning till night. Spontaneous discussion about God—his character, his ways, his plan—should fit into the everyday routines of life.

Third, put reminders everywhere, for you and for your children, of God’s immutable truth so that you will see the relevance of God’s Word in every aspect of life. You will not forget him as you go about your day.

When should this process begin? Start before you have children. Make God and his Word such an integral part of your life that when children arrive you will naturally desire to tell them about the treasure in your heart. Don’t wait for them to have full understanding. Teach them precept upon precept, a little at a time.

Timothy was taught the Scriptures from an early age by his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice. These godly Jewish women gave him a foundation in the Old Testament. Timothy heard God’s Word spoken in his home, he learned it, he later became convinced of it, and it led him to salvation in Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:5

Paul exhorted Timothy to “continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:14-15

“Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17

What better way for children to hear God’s Word, than to hear their parents speaking it out loud as they memorize. Then they will know that it’s on your heart when they hear it from your lips.

May your home be a place where God’s Word is spoken in every room, and embraced in every heart.

4 comments to Parents: You First

  • Love your articulation of this! Love for God must permeate my being and cultivating his word in my heart and mind causes love for him to blossom and grow. Hard to separate them! “…then they will know that it’s on your heart when they hear it from your lips.” Good words!

  • Lise Anderson Brocious

    Janet, I love you always pointing back to the fact that “love for God must permeate all of your being.” That is what it is all about. And how wonderful if through memorizing Scripture we have God permeating us and encouraging our children and those around us!

  • Chérie

    I agree wholeheartedly with you Lise and Karen. The purpose of our passion to memorize has to be the desire to know God better. Thank you Janet!

  • Vickie

    So true Janet! A huge blessing for me on Mothers Day was a homemade card from my youngest daughter ( now 22) where she writes “…you especially encourage me to be a more humble and dedicated Christian. I saw you read and study almost everyday and that’s an encouraging testimony.” I, too, want to encourage parents out there to spend time with Gods Word in front of their children, all of the competition for your time will try to distract you, but it is so worth it when you see the results years down the road.