“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.
“When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’”
The first section is a frequently-cited parenting passage, and for good reason. Yet we often think we’re following this command at maximum capacity by reading a Bible story at bedtime and playing K-LOVE in the car on the way to and from school. But I’m challenged by the premise of Noel Piper’s book that I’ve been quoting for the past two days: what do my daily habits really say about what is most important to me? What do our family routines communicate to our children about their value and identity?
What does our address, our social calendar, our TV time, our table talk, our clothing, our bank account really tell our children about who we are? Does our faith belong in a neat compartment that we open up on Sundays and at bedtime, or does it flavor every conversation, every decision?
Do you live in such a way that your children will even ask why your family is different from those around them?
I have so much to learn about how to do this well. Knowing how often I need to preach the gospel to myself, much less to those around me, is my motivation for setting up reminders throughout my daily routine.
Keep Reading: When You Lie Down and When You Rise