13th Jan, 2009

Along the Road

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

Wow. These verses are amazing. And here we have God making it clear to the Israelite parents (and to us today) how significant His words are. We are to teach them to, and talk about them with, our children when we sit at home, when we are going along the road, in the morning, and at night. God tells us to teach His word to our children a total of 4 times in Deuteronomy alone. This makes it abundantly clear that it is my job, as a parent, to talk about and teach my children the Scripture. It isn’t a youth leader’s job; it isn’t a Sunday School teacher’s job; it is my job. That doesn’t mean kids can’t have youth leaders or Sunday School teachers – it just means I shouldn’t abdicate my responsibility to teach my kids God’s word and about how He speaks to us as a family today.

Part of my testimony is that when I was 9 years old, after God introduced Himself to me, God gave me a profound desire to read the bible. So, I read it. Genesis to Revelation. Two times through by the time I turned 11. I expected my kids to do the same. But, now that my oldest son is ten and I didn’t see this burning desire in him, I questioned God about it. What did God tell me? Read it to him.

Read it to them – all of your children.

The Hobbit from Amazon.comAs the words sank into my thick skull I can’t believe I’ve never done it, at least not in any systematic way. We’ve read some of the bible together, and we’ve gone over various lessons and stories, but we’ve never just read the bible like we’ve read “The Hobbit,” the “Chronicles of Narnia,” “Guess How Much I Love You,” “The Giving Tree,” “Are You My Mother,” “I am a Bunny,” or Boxcar Children or dozens of other books.

I am a Bunny on Amazon.com

Last week we started in Genesis 1 and have read about the first 28 chapters. It has been amazing. They pepper the entire time with questions, some of which are difficult, because it opens up the need to explain pregnancy and the like, but many of which are fantastic. Just by reading the Word aloud, my kids are longing to know more and understand. They hate it when I quit each night. Now, we are starting to try to add in some Psalms aloud in the morning.

I cannot believe I had not done this before. I highly encourage you to give it a try if you aren’t already. It is a blessing to you and your family.

Responses

Fantastic post, Bryan! Profound, yet so simple. We read Psalm 139 aloud as a family Sunday night and I was just amazed at how much more “in tune” they were (and the parents for that matter) when God’s Word was read aloud. Thanks for the confirmation that we, too, should be doing the same thing that you guys started last week.

Still enjoying your words…take care!!

In our family with a 17 and 13-yr old we find it helpful to do a variety of things to spark spiritual interest and conversations. The latest is listening to audio books together for 15-20 min/day. Another thing we do that has gone over well is read a short meditation thought, but have everyone in the family read it out loud, so that it gets read 4 times. We then share with one another about the truths therein. It is amazing, but our kids respond to these encounters. I guess what we are learning is that “less is more”. The shorter the devotions/readings are, the more they seem to respond.

guy muse’s last blog post..Nuggets of wisdom we are trying to live by (Part 2)

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