I don’t find it strange that both of our children accepted Christ in our family room where we have our daily devotionals. While they have been to church most Sunday and Wednesdays, they have been involved in our family worship time on a daily basis since they were born. We talk about God, answer questions, pray, sing, laugh, and cry as we pour over God’s word as a family.
Deuteronomy 11:1-7, 16-21
1Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. 2Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the LORD your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm; 3the signs he performed and the things he did in the heart of Egypt, both to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his whole country;4what he did to the Egyptian army, to its horses and chariots, how he overwhelmed them with the waters of the Red Seaa as they were pursuing you, and how theLORD brought lasting ruin on them. 5It was not your children who saw what he did for you in the desert until you arrived at this place, 6and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when the earth opened its mouth right in the middle of all Israel and swallowed them up with their households, their tents and every living thing that belonged to them. 7But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the LORD has done.
16Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17Then the LORD’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you. 18Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.20Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
I can identify with the generation crossing into the Promised Land. There have been times in my life that were long and exhausting journeys, times when God’s provision arrived in wonderful and miraculous ways, times that I have been disciplined, and times when I wondered where the road was taking me. These are my struggles, my challenges, and my faith journeys. While my children have to have their own faith journeys, I am reminded and challenged by this set of scriptures that my children have not experienced these things. As a parent, there are things about my life that my children should know — times of God’s forgiveness, mercy, providence, and grace.
We do discuss God at our house throughout the day and we do worship and read the Bible (almost) daily as a family. Our times of prayer and singing are precious times, and the days when this worship service led to my children’s salvation were awesome days. My challenge ahead will be to draw from my own faith experiences and to be more open with the children as they grow older. As a child, I saw how God’s hand moved in our family. I want my children to be equally confident that God is real, alive, and at work in our lives.
The local church is incredibly important, and we attend regularly. On the other hand, the first institution that God created was the home – and in this family setting he wants us to remember, to instruct, to pray, and to read from dawn to dusk — to have our own “home” church.
Dear God, help our lives as parents be open books of God’s providence for our children. May we remember all the mighty works that you have performed in our lives and may we have the courage to discuss those mighty works with our children.