Weekly Devotional~ Creating a heritage for our children

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 on your hearts.  
Impress them on your children. 
Talk about them 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.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9

I absolutely love digging into the Old Testament and reading God's commands and promises to the earliest believers.  He spoke to them just as He speaks to us now, although it was a bit different before He sent Jesus.  God promised eternal life in exchange for certain actions; though, if we look closely, we see that He still so strongly desired a hearty relationship amidst all of the "doing."

In this passage from Deuteronomy, we find God's jealous desire for our love for Him to headline the way we raise our children.  I find it a very special thing for Him to speak to His people about how they relate to one another, and engage with their children each day.

First He tells us what He wants of us, and that is for us to love Him with every bit of heart and body and soul we have.  He tells us this should be "on" our hearts.  In the KJV the word is "in".  I think this gives more of a picture of how God wants us to love.  See, today we think that things are "in our hearts" and "on our minds".  Things that are on our minds often "slip our minds", but those things in our hearts are often held so carefully and tenderly that they tend to take over even the thoughts in our minds.  God certainly wished for us to live and act and work from our hearts, and not our minds.  Our minds are easily swayed by the world, but our hearts have the power to change that course and get us back on track.

He tells us "impress them (commandments) on your children."  The KJV says to teach diligently.  I honestly cringe when I hear the word diligent because it means a lot of work will be involved.  We train our babies to change from bottle to sippy cup; diaper to potty; waking each night to sleeping 12 hours straight; and many other things that help us live happily.  It is no secret that convenience, and a routine that ensures it, is a very powerful motivator.  What if our childrens' spiritual growth was a motivator for how we live each day and run our home?  

God tells us to talk about His commandments when we sit and walk and lie down and wake up.  He wishes for us to tie them to our hands and bind them to our foreheads; even write them on our doorframes and gates.  He is telling us to keep Him in our everyday; in our every waking moment.  He is telling us to make Him a familiar presence in our homesWhy would He command such things?

If we talk about Him as we sit at home or walk down the road, we will certainly relate Him to each circumstance we encounter.  We will be more likely to reach out to Him.
If we talk about Him when we lie down and when we wake up, we will certainly thank Him for each day; as these are times when we are falling to sleep and rising with a new day.
If we tie His commandments as symbols on our hands and bind them to our foreheads, we will be accountable and influential.  Think about the looks we wear on our faces and the attitude that precedes us; if it is a symbol of our faith in God instead of our worldly-influenced pride and disappointments, we are acting on the faith we carry in our hearts. 
If we write them on the doorframes of our houses and our gates, we are building up a home that runs in line with His plan for the home.  

Being a mother has been the most frightening, crazy, difficult, challenging, yet most rewarding job I'll ever have.  I have cried and laughed and cried some more.  I've felt helpless and strong; scared and powerful.  I've had intuition and insight that seems out of the realm of which I live.  I feel that my pulse is beating more in line with God when I am aware of it.  Deuteronomy is a simple checklist to refer to whenever there is a moment where I need to decide what is best for my child.  

Am I speaking the Word of God over him?  Am I showing Him God's love in the way I love him?  Am I showing it to the world in general?  Is our home lifted by God and lifting Him in return?  

Tough questions to answer sometimes.. Praise the Lord for loving me and giving me His patience and mercy.  

So my question for you is; what are some things you are doing to instill a strong Christian heritage in your children?

Happy Monday~

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