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?
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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.