A week ago today we attended church with dear friends of our in central MA. There were two families who dedicated children to the Lord. One man who dedicated his second child to the Lord used the following scripture as a prayer request to the seated congregation. From Deuteronomy 6 verses 4 through 9.
"Hear, O Israel! The LORD is 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.
"These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.
"You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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.
"You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.
"You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
I couldn't help but think to myself, is he listening to the words he is saying? does he mean it? Is he willing to do what it takes to "teach" his children "diligently"? If I hadn't been so tired, I would have like to have gone right up to him and his wife after the service and ask him if he meant it. So many things get in the way of us accomplishing this goal.
As I have referred to in previous posts, we are in the home stretch, the heart break hill of parenting. We know that our time with our children now 15,16 & 18 is quickly nearing the finish line. Not that we will no longer be their parents but our role as their parents is changing drastically at this time. Every day I am more convinced that the shortest season of life is childhood. Some say that educating children at home is a calling and this passage above may indicate that it is a little more like a command. If you give away the most precious hours of the day to another whether they be private or public educators, I have a hard time seeing how you can execute Deuteronomy 6. Perhaps the messages of the modern day American church coupled with the messages of the culture seem to be right since that is what most Americans Christians are doing. The Lord however has given us minds, to think, to reason and to question the church and the culture. To see if what these two influences have to say match up with what the Lord has to say. It is difficult to stop and to seek the LORD, search the Word and have HIM search our hearts.
As a Christian, the first authority in my life is Jesus Christ and His Word and believe me I fall, I fail and I cry out for mercy because I can't live up to HIS standards, but GOD is bigger than my faltering ways and HIS GRACE is sufficient to meet all our needs. I have seen the LORD work in my children and I know that it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with God's purpose. The reason we continue to educate our children at home is primarily out of obedience to God and I can say without regret that this small act of obedience has produce the greatest joy in parenting. This time with our children has allowed us to cultivate relationships with our children that we could have never imagined. Hopefully, we have helped prepared them for life to be affective agents for God's Kingdom.
So my prayer for this couple who are longtime married and very new parents to two little ones is that they would take this scripture to heart, that they would be a living sacrifice in their parenting, indeed that they would walk and talk and impart the ways of the Lord to their children. I sit here convicted by my own words. With the little time left, I pray that my husband and I would take the time to give of ourselves to our children while they still live with us.