2009-04-17 - The Shema
As parents we have a great responsibility. It is the same responsibility given to the Israelites many, many years ago. This passage is referred to as the Shema and as I understand it is the first passage young Jews commit to memory.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NKJV) Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
It is my responsibility as a parent to teach my children. It is not the states job or the churchs job; it is mine. And I am to do it diligently. According to Merriam Webster, diligently means characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort.
Steady this isnt a once a week thing but a continual thing each day. Whether Im sitting around the house with the kids, walking through the neighborhood with my family, getting ready for bed, or beginning a new day I am to teach my children.
Earnest this is no half-hearted effort either. I am to give this job of raising children my best effort. It is my number one job. As a man, it is easy to think my best effort goes into my work. That is the worlds philosophy but that is not the case. A real man is not defined by what he does to earn a living but by how he spends his life with family.
Energetic it wont be easy, it will be hard work. Kids have lots of energy but parents must muster up their own to raise children. If as a parent I am too tired to train up my children, I had better cut some things out of my life. Obedience to God requires that my energy go towards nurturing my children in his word. I have to take the effort to keep scripture before my children on the doorposts and gateways of their lives.
If you have children you are still raising, I challenge you to evaluate your role with these three simple questions: Am I consistent with my children in spiritual matters? Am I giving my children my best effort? Do I energetically and enthusiastically engage my children in spiritual lessons?
I know I need to improve my own efforts. How about you?
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted