Deuteronomy 6 is an oft-quoted passage of many family advocates, and rightly so. Verses six through nine of this dynamic chapter challenge the families of Israel as to how the wonderful book of the law should be used:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord 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. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9, ESV
In other words, the Word of God should be taught at all times!
While this passage is often used as a reference for regular “Family Devotions” — brief times daily or weekly where parents and children gather and dive into God’s Word – that can only be a part of the story here. Realizing the breadth of this challenge to families should in no way negate the important need for a structured devotion time.
That time “when you sit in your house” is still and will always be a key component in handing off your faith to your children. It simply is not, however, the only time to work toward this eternal goal. God is commanding us to make every part of our lives a family devotion — an opportunity to teach and remember the eternal elements in the mundane, day-to-day things of life!
There are things that every one of us do each day of our lives that we can use to teach key biblical principles. These events move beyond regular family devotions to what we call “devotions in motion” — scriptural lessons in everyday life. Even mundane activities like brushing teeth, washing dishes, or riding in the car can be used to share timeless principles.
Each week at Kingsland, we provide simple “Faith Talks” to be used to stimulate conversation that can last all week long. More conversation starters than devotions, they are intended to be used around the dinner table or on the way to school. They’re a chance to put Deuteronomy 6 into practice!
As you consider our passage in Deuteronomy, I hope it will motivate you to remember three powerful secrets of making “Faith Talks” come to life:
Doing Leads to Talking: Most kids talk more when they are “doing”. When we find ways to stimulate communication in every day events, we open the door to share the foundations of our faith. Deuteronomy 6 doesn’t just say to READ the commandments throughout the day. It says to TALK ABOUT the commandments throughout the day!
Repetition Leads to Legacy: There is something about repetition that makes things last. God’s children knew this well, and used it effectively to pass along God’s timeless principles. The fact of the matter is that developing core values into positive habits is the best way to turn a value into a family legacy.
Seeing Leads to Believing: The power of association is the heart of any effective memorization tool. In all of our lives, key visual events associate themselves with the activities, thoughts, or things surrounding those events. Some are so powerful that we cannot remember one without the other. God, of course, had this figured out long before any memory expert. “Faith Talks” will naturally connect to everyday life — reminding us that God’s truths really work!
As we utilize activities to get our families talking about the Lord, associate the things of God with the mundane things of life, and repeat these small but important lessons over and over again, we inevitably paint an indelible picture in the minds of our children — and more importantly, in their hearts. God bless you as you make “Faith Talks” a part of your home life. Let us know how it goes!
Grace and Peace,
Kingsland Baptist Church