Deuteronomy 6...

Recently I've been watching a video series on Godly men that begins with a look at Deuteronomy 6.

What does this passage have to say about raising a family and what a father/husband should be doing to equip his family for the warfare that we are embroiled in?

Deuteronomy 6 says the following:

1 - These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess,
2 - so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.
3 - Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you.
4 - Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
5 - Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
6 - These commandments that I give you today are to be upon 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.
10 - When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give youa land with large, flourishing cities you did not build,
11 - houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plantthen when you eat and are satisfied,
12 - be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
13 - Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.
14 - Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you;
15 - for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.
16 - Do not test the LORD your God as you did at Massah.
17 - Be sure to keep the commands of the LORD your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you.
18 - Do what is right and good in the LORD's sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers,
19 - thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the LORD said.
20 - In the future, when your son asks you, "What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the LORD our God has commanded you?"
21 - tell him: "We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
22 - Before our eyes the LORD sent miraculous signs and wondersgreat and terribleā€”upon Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household.
23 - But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers.
24 - The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.
25 - And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness."

Deut 6:1-25 NIV

The first thing we see here is that Moses is teaching the children of Israel what it is the LORD told him to teach them.  Not his own words.  Not his own thoughts.  But the words the LORD, the God of Israel, instructed him to tell them.  And he starts out with why he is telling them, and how it will benifit them.  So that they may, and their children, and their grandchildren learn to fear the LORD, keep his decrees, and enjoy long life.

Then he goes on to tell them that they need need to be careful to obey the LORD so they will increase in number and riches in the promised land - just as God promised to their parents (who died in the wilderness because they failed to obey)

Then he says something that if it weren't for the context of the times, would seem like something the people should have known (and, indeed, we need reminding of it still today)... Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the LORD is One.  I take that to mean something like, "Hear me ... Our God is the One and only God - Creator of the universe, and all that is within it, seen and unseen!  And he is OUR God, Remember He chose us, not the other way around like the pagans in the land we are about to invade."

So, by now you're probably wondering what on earth does this have to do with fathers and husbands leading families?

Well, I'll tell you.  Moses here is the spiritual father of Israel.  The prophet God sent to them to lead them.  He has instructed Israel, theough His servant Moses, to teach these things to their children, beginning with the fear of the Lord, and obedience to His laws and decrees.  And in Verse 5, loving Him with all their heart and soul and strength - a passage that Christ quotes when He walked upon the earth.

Then we get to the heart of the matter. Tell them to your children.  Be a leader in the home and instruct your kids.  No where have I been able to find a place where it tells us to turn over our children to someone else to be trained and instructed!  And yet, that is what a large majority of us do.  Sure, in this era of modern life, perhaps we can't do all of the schooling and teaching we'd like to.  This doesn't mean, however, that we are to abrogate our responsibilities and turn over the seat of learning completely to outside influences and instructors.

No.  In the very next sentence we are told when we are to instruct our children in the laws of God -

."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."

When we sit at home ... in front of the TV - oh, wait... if the TV is on all the time how can we have this discussion - how can we possibly interrupt the programming that is coming into the house and teach our kids the things our God would have us teach them?  It's easy. It's call the On/Off switch.  Turn the thing of and talk - get out of the house anjoy the outdoors.  If you must watch a show, make certain it has some value that can be discussed with the kids.  You might be surprised at what they say - you might be surprised at what you learn about yourself!

So when are we to talk about the laws and statutes of God? Just sitting at home?  Nope.  We read further and we are to talk about them when we walk along the road, too.  For us today, that would probably read, "when you drive to school, work, shopping, or anywhere you go."  When we lie down and when we get up. 

Wow!

When we go to bed and when we get up in the morning!  So from the beginning of the day (In OT times, the day began at sundown) to the beginning of the next day - all day long!  Imagine what our families would be like if we focused on teaching the children of God about God!

I am convinced that there are a number of very good things that would happen from this.

  • WE as parents would have to learn more about God just to ba able to teach our kids
  • Because WE parents would be learning and renewing out minds through the Word of God, our faith would grow
  • WE parents would begin to live out a faith that is alive and evident. A faith that would be more energized and relevant to our kids, making it easier for us to teach our children about these things that we are instructed to do.
  • Our kids would be able to see, first hand, evidence of the fruits of faith in Christ.
  • Our children would grow up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
  • We, as a family would grow much closer together
  • We, as a family would have a much better understanding of the faith and be able to "give a ready defense" of our faith
  • All of us would have a healthy "Fear of the Lord"
  • and then there is the impact that it would have on our world, our country, and our own community.

Imagine a community of believers, living out their faith in God and Christ.  Giving testimony, if not by word, by the evidence of faith that is the fruit of the Spirit!  What a positive impact this could have on our local community.  And from there, the state and country!

All because we, the parents of children, took God at his word and taught our children HIs laws and His commands and His instructions when we rose up and when we lie down, when we sit in the home and when we walk by the way.  All it takes is time.  And committment.  A little discipline.  And God's love.

I challenge us all to try this course of action for 40 days. Teach our children.  And dads?  Don't delegate YOUR part in this to your wife. She's already picking up a lot of your slack.  After all, you aren't working i from home like it was even a few hundred years ago.  You need to come home, and go into father/teacher/leader/prophet/preist mode.

I am going to try to get together with a group of men from my church - men that have kids - and put together a "program" where we all agree to attempt this.  Where we chalenge one another to do this.  We'll do this for 40 days as a "pilot" project and see where it goes.  I'll report back and maybe, just maybe, this can become a yearly kickoff retreat at the ranch (or wrap up - altho, I'd hope that it just keeps on going)

Last modified on 2011-07-07 by Jeff