From Our Hearts to Yours

How to Pass-On God’s Word to Your Kids

I don’t know what’s in your heart, and I’m working on what’s in mine! But God tells both of us what is supposed to be there, what He wants to be there, and what we are to pass on to our children. Here it is: He says, “These words which I command you today shall be in your heart” (Deuteronomy 6:6).

And here’s the scene surrounding these words: Moses is in the final weeks of his life. It has been 40 years since God’s people left Egypt, 40 years of homeless wanderings in the desert. At last, a new generation was poised to enter into the Promised Land.

This new generation was to fill the land and build a great nation for their children, and their children’s children. And on this momentous day, Moses addresses their spiritual responsibility as parents. As Moses speaks, he doesn’t want these moms and dads to merely hear the words of the Law and the Ten Commandments. No, he wants more, way more! He wants the words of the Law to go beyond their ears and reside in their hearts.

Other passages in the Bible send us this same message:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. (Colossians 3:16)

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night. (Joshua 1:8)

My son, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you…bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. (Proverbs 7:1,3)

The message is repeated…loud and clear, isn’t it? God’s Word is to be in our heart. He asks this of you and me as parents. Why? Because when truth resides in your heart, then you have something to pass on to your children. They benefit!

And you benefit too: As a parent you have something to guide you when you need help, strength, wisdom, and perseverance in your role as parent and leader of your children. Don’t get me wrong — having and raising a child is perhaps the greatest earthly blessing you will ever enjoy. But, at the same time, it is the greatest challenge. But take heart! God’s Word will always be there in you, with you, and for you as you guide your child in the ways of the Lord.

So…part of God’s assignment for you as a parent is to be committed to His Word. You are to do whatever it takes to embed the teachings of the Bible in your heart, soul, and mind. As the saying goes, “You cannot impart what you do not possess.” To teach and guide, lead and raise a child after God’s own heart requires that God’s truth be in your heart first. Then you possess something to impart. Then you have the most important thing to pass on to your child — the truth about God and the grace He extends through His Son, Jesus.

Question: What godly characteristic have you seen God grow in your life or a family member’s that you hope to foster in your children? What characteristic of yours do you need to lay before God, so that it does not pass on to your children?

Special Contest Announcement:
To share our excitement over launching our new website, we’re offering a fun contest where you can win exciting the entire After God’s Own Heart library of books – 17 total books! Plus, we’ll be giving away copies of our brand new books, A Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices and A Man After God’s Own Heart – Devotional. Click here for details to submit your entry before the deadline.

Parenting – You Can Do It!

The task of raising a child is daunting to say the least. You may feel inadequate to face the responsibility of guiding your children into the knowledge of God. I definitely felt this way. Perhaps the most encouraging wisdom and insight I received as young, clueless parents was shared by another father and mentor to my husband, Jim.

We clung to its message while our girls were in their formative years and living at home. And guess what? We still draw comfort from it as grandparents today. Jim’s mentor said, “The ground at the cross is level when it comes to child-raising.”

This experienced dad went on to explain that he had learned not to judge other parents because the way is hard for all mothers and fathers. No parent has done or will do it all perfectly. It’s a mega-challenge for each and every parent.

This mentor also encouraged us that the end results are never fully evident because God is in the equation — that only time will reveal the outcome of our parenting, which is intermingled with God’s sovereignty and grace. No matter what appears to be real, whether rough seas or smooth sailing, all parents need God, and with God, all things are always possible.

So know that your mission is to begin where you are to follow the Lord. Just as it is never too late to receive Christ as Savior, you can choose any day — today, if you haven’t already — to begin diligently teaching your children and talking to them about the God you love and who loves them. Raising children is never done perfectly, but it is usually done with a heart of immeasurable love…and hope.

You know what this means, don’t you? That you and I as parents must always be praying hope for our children regardless of their age or stage in life. In fact, this is yet another one of God’s “missions” for moms and dads: We are to be diligent prayer warriors. We are to do battle through prayer on behalf of our precious children.

Pray for their spiritual growth into a man or woman after God’s own heart as your calling, your mission assignment from God. One of my favorite verses to pray for my children is Ephesians 1:17, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ…may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.”

Commit to doing your part and trust God to do His!

Question: What additional verses or thoughts do you pray over daily for your children or those children in your life?

Special Contest Announcement:
To share our excitement over launching our new website, we’re offering a fun contest where you can win exciting the entire After God’s Own Heart library of books – 17 total books! Plus, we’ll be giving away copies of our brand new books, A Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices and A Man After God’s Own Heart – Devotional. Click here for details to submit your entry before the deadline.

A Golden Rule for Parents

When I was a new Christian I was a new mom as well. I was full of questions about how to teach my little one’s about the Lord, whom I had only just discovered as an adult. I Was amazed when my eyes landed on Deuteronomy 6:5-7! God was actually showing me His guidelines for raising my own little daughters. And in only three verses! How practical is that? Here’s what I read over and over again and finally memorized:

“You shall love the lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. And you shall teach them…”

I adore these verses because they are packed with clear communication to parents. God goes straight to the heart of the matter—the parent’s heart. Before telling us how to teach our children, He tells us that we must love Him first. This is because He knows that we become what we love. So He is utterly straightforward about where we are to place our love: We are to love Him supremely.

We “love” a lot of things for a lot of different reasons. But God prescribes perimeters and scope for our love. He tells us what not to love: “Do not love the world or the things in the world” (1 John 2:15). And He tells us in Deuteronomy 6 what we are to love and where our love is to be focused — we are to “love the lord” (verse 5).

But hold on. The Lord goes a step further and demands all of our love. He wants us to love Him with every fiber of our being — every breath, every ounce of energy, every thought, every emotion and passion, every choice. He wants us to love Him. He wants us to think first of Him and to desire above all else to please Him. And He wants that love to be intense and total.

Now, apply this information about the strength of this kind of love for God and think about the love you have for your children. I’m sure you’ve heard others say, “There is no love like a parent’s love.” And it’s true! From the split second parents know that a baby is on the way, all our thoughts, dreams, prayers, and goals are channeled toward that little one. We are completely consumed and preoccupied by this tiny being.

But as much as we focus on an approaching child, God wants us to obsess and focus even more on Him. That’s because the more we love Him, the more we will know about love. And the more we know about love, the more we will know about how to love. And the more we know about how to love, the more we will love our children.

If you are a sold-out, on-fire, hot-hearted, committed-to-God Christian, you will be infinitely further down the road to being the kind of parent who, by His grace, can raise a son or daughter after God’s own heart. Because all your love centers upon God, and because you follow Him with all your heart, you will qualify to lead your children to follow God too!

Question: How does the one command to “love the lord God with all your heart” simplify the many parenting concerns that you might have?

Special Contest Announcement:
To share our excitement over launching our new website, we’re offering a fun contest where you can win exciting the entire After God’s Own Heart library of books – 17 total books! Plus, we’ll be giving away copies of our brand new books, A Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices and A Man After God’s Own Heart – Devotional. Click here for details to submit your entry before the deadline.

Teaching is Not Just for the Experts

Hooray! The kids are back to school and parents get a break, right? Not so fast — God calls us to teach our children to have a heart for Him, not just educate them in the world’s strategies. But how do we do that?

Deuteronomy 6:7 says, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” The word diligent carries a lot of meaning — to be industrious, meticulous, careful, thorough, attentive, conscientious…

I was once an elementary teacher. I quickly learned that you cannot merely wing-it when teaching children. I had to think ahead about the year’s l schedule. I searched for materials and creative ideas. I planned out each lesson.

Likewise, God gives us the job to prepare our children in their spiritual lives. We cannot leave this vital teaching to Sunday school teacher or educators. All parents seeking to raise a child after God’s own heart must be committed to the teaching of God’s ways.

If you are in this position, shouldn’t you be committed to:

  • Instructing your children in God’s ways?
  • Planning to some extent how you will accomplish this goal?
  • Scheduling a time each day for some kind of formal Bible time?
  • Encouraging your child to have some time alone with God?
  • Coaching them in ways to have daily devotions?
  • Searching for age-appropriate materials and fellow parents ideas for helping children grow?
  • Praying daily about this mission from God, this teacher role He has personally given you?

In his book Shepherding a Child’s Heart, author Tedd Tripp gives this challenge to parents:

“You shepherd your child on God’s behalf. The task God has given you is not one that can be conveniently scheduled. It is a pervasive task. Training and shepherding are going on whenever you are with your children. Whether waking, walking, talking or resting, you must be involved in helping your child to understand life, himself and his needs from a biblical perspective.”

Wherever and whenever the two of you are together is God’s opportunity for you to teach your child about Him. So take advantage and be purposeful with the gift of such times. But, if they are too few and far between, plan, schedule, and determine to make them happen as if it were your most important job on earth — for it is!

Question: What discussion or activity will you plan today to guide your child into a better understanding of God?

Special Contest Announcement:
To share our excitement over launching our new website, we’re offering a fun contest where you can win exciting the entire After God’s Own Heart library of books – 17 total books! Plus, we’ll be giving away copies of our brand new books, A Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices and A Man After God’s Own Heart – Devotional. Click here for details to submit your entry before the deadline.

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


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