I have been meditating upon this week's verse....see right column.... from Deut. 6 quite a lot lately. These are some pretty weighty commands for those of us who are parents. But I also think it applies to those who are not or not yet parents.
What does it truly mean to love God with everything you are and have? I don't know about you but I find that is a very difficult thing to do in this busy and distracting world we live in. There are so many things that pull at our hearts, minds and time. Sometimes it is hard to sort out what is Godly and what is not. As I was thinking upon these verses I found it easier to take them verse by verse and form my thoughts about them. So here goes...I will attempt to share what is on my heart....
verse 6...."and these words shall be in your heart". If God's words are to be in our hearts then we need to be reading His Word every day. We not only need to be reading, but meditating upon them, memorizing them, doing whatever it takes to make ourselves so familiar with them that they truly are in our hearts. What we focus upon is what will overflow from our hearts, minds, lips and actions.
verse 7....I think that this verse embodies the whole of what it means to shepherd our children's hearts towards a love of God and His Word. I used to look at this verse and think, "wow, what a huge undertaking! How am I going to remember to do this all of the time? How am I going to do this amidst everything that is thrown at me every day?" But what I am finding is that the more of God's Word you have in your heart, the easier, the more naturally you can operate according to this verse. What I am also finding though is that it is much easier to obey this verse if you make a very concerted effort to simplify and slow down your life. For when you do that you are in a much calmer, quieter place to hear God speak and to then pass that on to your children. And that brings me to another point.....slowing down.....this is something that is so foreign to many of us in these days in which we live. But I feel that we are missing way too much that God has for us, way too many blessings because we fill our lives so full of stuff that does matter but also lots of stuff that doesn't really matter. We are so busy doing and going that we don't have enough quiet in our lives to hear God. And when I say "we" I am speaking of myself too. These are things that I feel God is speaking to me about, but I feel He is wanting me to share it.
When I first read verse 7 I felt like it was speaking specifically to parents but I think that it applies to all of us as we can use these principles to minister to anyone that we come into contact with on a regular basis. If we are applying these principles our lives will ooze with the essence of God. Isn't that exciting to think about?!! I definitely think so!! It makes me want to spend every waking moment of free time I have reading His Word! And I am not talking about spending hours and hours every day in reading His Word, because I know that as busy mamas and wives many of us don't have hours and hours, but I do think that we have more time than we allow ourselves to think we do.
Verses 8 & 9....."bind them on your hand and place them on your forehead"...."write them on your door frames and your gates".....this makes me think of placing scripture around my home, where, as I go throughout my day I see it everywhere. It is surrounding me. And in this technical age in which we live what about investing in the Bible on CD and listening to it as you are in your vehicle running this errand or the kids here or there? Or playing it in your home as you fold the laundry, make the meals, or clean the house. I often have praise music going in my home all day as I go about my daily routine. I have a 5 CD changer and so I load it up, hit the shuffle button and I am set up to have praise music playing for the next several hours. What I like about this is that as Alannah and I are colouring, working on school, putting a puzzle together or doing regular household chores, she will often hear something playing that catches her attention enough that she begins asking questions about what the song is speaking of. This gives me the perfect opportunity to instill the things that God is talking about in these verses!
So I challenge not only myself but all of you to take a closer look at how you spend your time, what you are teaching your children through how you do spend your time and where you can make the time in your life to spend more time reading God's Word. Also, try saying no to those activities that busy up our lives and make it harder to hear that still, quiet voice of God.
I would love to hear any comments you might have concerning these scriptures! And please feel free to share this with anyone you feel the need to.