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Deuteronomy 6 is a formative text for those who are serious about passing the blessings of God’s covenant from one generation to the next. This chapter calls us to frame the entire day with talking to our children about the ways of God. We are called to speak of Him when we rise up in the morning, throughout the day as we sit together or walk from place to place, and when we lie down (see Deut. 6:7). Obviously, presenting God’s glory and goodness to our children is an essential part of our calling.

Something else catches one’s attention in this passage. Deuteronomy 6 is not just about truth spoken like a newscaster reading from a teleprompter. Our joy in God and persuasion of His worthiness is the foundation for teaching His ways to our children: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (vv. 4–5).

If the wonders of God’s sovereign power, mercy, and grace have not melted your heart, shaping in you a profound love for Him, you will never impress His glory on your children. If God’s Word is not precious to you, it will not be important to your children. It all begins with being dazzled by God.

This is the point of Deuteronomy 6:6–7a: “These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children.” It is inevitable that what you treasure will be on your heart. Your heart is always tied to whatever you value most. Finding God to be fascinating is essential to showing your children the delights of knowing Him. Your fellowship with God, your sense of His goodness and mercy in Christ, and your experience—even in the midst of trials—of what Peter calls joy that is inexpressible and glorious is foundational for impressing the delights of knowing Christ on your children. This is not just about the world of ideas; finding God to be fascinating must be the very pulse of your heart.

In his biography of Jonathan Edwards, Iain Murray tells us how Edwards described his grandfather, Richard Edwards: “In the presence of God, he appeared not only to believe, but to delight.” Delighting in God is more persuasive than thousands of words.

God’s rich truths must fill your heart so that you can impress them on your children. Simply living before them enables you to impress your children with the goodness and excellence of God’s ways.

All Christian parents say “Yes” to the idea of showing God’s goodness to our children. Yet we are keenly aware of our failures to help them love Him as we ought to love Him. Where are you going to go with that sense of failure? Don’t go inside with guilt and self-condemnation. Go to God for the grace to love Him as you ought as well as to show His glories to your children. 

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From the June 2013 Issue
Jun 2013 Issue