Our faith and teaching it to the next generation
God used Moses to deliver Israelites from their bondage in Egypt and he was leading them for 40 years through their wilderness journey. God told Moses that he won’t be going to Canaan.When they were about to cross over Jordan river to enter Canaan, the promised land, which is flowing with milk and honey, Moses, the servant of the Lord, called together all the Isrealites and giving his final teaching or a farewell speech. He is reminding them how the Lord brought them upto this stage in their journey and what all happened so far.
Moses is asking them to observe the laws, decrees and commandments of God carefully. (Deuteronomy.4:5,6.) He is asking them to “Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”(Deut.4:9)
Love the Lord your God.
In Deut.6:5, Moses is asking God’s people to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. The idea is to love God with the whole person, mind and soul. In Deut.6:6, God’s commandments are to be upon our hearts. First it should be in our life. Then it should overflow to others. Our heart must be right. The heart here is a metaphor for the will. Today, the God of the Bible should be our God in all areas of our life.
Raising Godly children
God is asking Godly parents to raise Godly children. Moses asked the Israelites to teach God’s commandments to their children.
Impress them to your children.
Talk about them (God’s commandments)
a. When you sit at home
b. When you walk along the road
c. When you lie down
d. When you get up Deut. 6:7.
Are we communicating to our children about our God? What is the impression we gave to our children about our God? Is our life, the best visual aid for our children to understand God? What is the impression, our children give to those who see them?
e. Tie them as symbols on your hands. Today, all what we do with our hands should be a reflection of our obedience to God’s commandments.
f. Bind them on your foreheads
Is our thinking controlled by God?
g. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deut.6:8. (The Jewish used to practice 6:8,9 literally.)
The avenues of contact with the world around us, our neighbors, friends and others. Can the people around us see and read God in our life?
God must be all important to the parents or He won’t be important to our children. For our children to love and follow God, the parents should love and follow Him. When God becomes secondary for parents, it will difficult for children to treat God as primary.
We got genetic factors like colour, height, intelligence…from parents. Similarly the spiritual life of our children is a reflection of the spiritual life of parents. We learned the language of our parents by listening to them. What kind of a spiritual life are we demonstrating to our children through our words and actions?
A child is a gift to its parents. It is the responsibility of the parents to teach them diligently about God. Non transferable responsibility. Sad that many parents are not with the children but are earning for them somewhere. Others are so busy that they don’t have time to teach about God. Many parents talk mainly about scoring top marks , top courses and colleges,…earning name ,fame and money because those are the important things in their life.
We started praying for our children even before their birth. When they started talking, the first thing we taught them was to pray. When they started reading and writing, we taught them to read and study Bible, memorise Bible verses…Everyday before they started to school, prayed and sent them to school. When they were in hostels, always tried to pray with them over the phone. They were witnessing to their friends in their schools and in their professional colleges…They continue to love the Lord…We continue to pray and encourage them to love the Lord more.
Are we loving the Lord with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength?
Are we using all our opportunities to bring our children closer to the Lord?
How is the spiritual life of our children? Is God the supreme priority in the life of our children? What more can we do about it?