As God began to impress Deuteronomy 6:7 upon my heart, I was haunted with a question, “What am I doing with this responsibility and calling that God has given me to impress the hearts of my children with a love for God?” I was doing a lot to help encourage faith and character in other people’s kids at church but hardly anything with my own children. With my spiritual opportunities at work, I was hitting a home run. With my spiritual responsibilities, I was failing miserably. God was now turning my heart to my primary life mission: to impress God’s truth and love upon the hearts of my wife and children. But what, specifically, was I supposed to do?
Praise God He does not leave us hanging! He never gives impossible assignments. Nor does He require us to look high and low for our first action step. He gives it to us in the next three verses in Deuteronomy 6.
“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.”
Yes, Lord! I am ready! I want my children to know you and love you! Where do you want me to start?
“Talk about them [these inspired words of God] 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.”
So what is the magical, mysterious formula for imperfect moms and dads to help their kids fall in love with God? What is the super secret strategy? Where do we start? Talk to them! What a radical, revolutionary concept! God paints a picture of parents who talk with their children about spiritual things, and this passage even goes so far as to mention four specific times that are great times to talk to your children about Jesus.
Is it important to be a good spiritual model for your children? Absolutely! We will talk about that in later chapters. Is it helpful to bring them to church? Of course! It is a key commitment of the Christian family. But God’s Word speaks clearly to us as parents that our mission to impress the hearts of our kids with a love for God must be rooted in daily conversations and instruction about spiritual things.