In the craziness of life how can we find the time to study scripture? Even tougher, how can we impress the importance of that discipline to our children? Chief breaks it down in a manageable way.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.7 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. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
To this day Israelites still recite this passage known as the shema. The reason God commanded them to treat the words of the law with such importance was because these laws were the very words of God. And that is what we hold in our hands today. The spoken word of God. It is God revealing His plan and His nature to mankind through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to men chosen by God. And this word is for our benefit. To teach us about God and ourselves. To show us how to live and equip us for the works God has prepared for us to do.
So how do we study it and how do we teach our children about it? Here are a few pointers:
- Read – Sounds simple, but often we just want to download the Bible to our brains like Neo in the Matrix. But that is not how it works. To understand it we have to read it. And God gives us the teacher to help us make sense of it all. He’s called the Holy Spirit. He lives in us if we are in Christ, and one of His roles is Teacher. (1 John 2:27)
- Memorize and Meditate – the other option here is to tie passages on your hands and bind them to your forehead. While that might require less brain power, it’s not a fashion statement I’m ready to make. Hiding God’s word in our hearts is the next best thing to the aforementioned download. When it is in our hearts and on our minds it slowly transforms our thinking (Rom 12:2) as we meditate (think on it) and then our actions follow.
- Impress – Think about a branding iron on a cow, only less painful. Our children have all kinds of influences around them. They are being impressed by something – the latest pop star, eye-catching media, or the lives of people through the lens of social media. What would happen if we impressed on their hearts what we read ourselves? What would happen if what we memorized, became what they memorized? The biggest impression on our children will be when they see us in the Word and hear us memorizing and talking about the Scriptures.
God has blessed us with the opportunity to know Him through the reading of His word and He has commanded us to lead our children along that same path. If we want to be like Joshua and declare “But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord,” (Jos 24:15) then it starts here.
Start the practice of reading Scripture every day. Even if it is only for a minute and only one verse. Build a habit of going to God’s word. Take it to the next level and ask your parents to memorize a verse with you. And then see how God uses that Word hidden in your heart to influence your day.