Side By Side
1 Now this is the mitzvah, the statutes, and the ordinances, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you go over to possess it; 2 that you might fear the LORD your God, to keep all his statutes and his mitzvot, which I command you, you, and your son, and your son's son, all the days of your life; and that your days may be prolonged. 3 Hear therefore, Yisra'el, and observe to do it; that it may be well with you, and that you may increase mightily, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised to you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.4 Hear, Yisra'el: the LORD is our God; the LORD is one: 5 and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 These words, which I command you this day, shall be on your heart; 7 and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for symbols between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the door-posts of your house, and on your gates. - Deu 6:1-9 HNV
In my family scrapbook is a picture of my daughter at age 4 working next to me, using a toy hammer to repair the siding on the house. Side by side we worked that day; she imitated my every action, absolutely convinced that she too was fixing the house. Rarely have I enjoyed a chore more. In the picture, it’s obvious that she’s enjoying it too.
That photo reminds me that our children mimic most of what they see in us—words and deeds. They also form their images of God from the images they have of us as parents. If we’re stern and unmerciful, they’re likely to see God that way too. If we’re distant and cold, so God will seem to them as well. It is one of our most important duties as parents to help our children see God clearly, especially the unconditional nature of His love.
I can imagine the family scrapbook of my relationship with God having a similar picture. I’m learning from Him how to live life, how to love, and how to make it a permanent part of my being. He then teaches me how to teach others (Deut. 6:1-7).
May the Lord grant us an understanding of Him and the wisdom to pass it on.
We must teach our children clearly
What is right and what is wrong;
Live before them an example—
Godly, righteous, pure, and strong. —Fitzhugh
To teach your children well, let God teach you.
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"Baruch haba ba'Shem Adonai!"
"Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the LORD!"