Deuteronomy 9-11; Parenting Eternal Souls

We all know parenting is a huge responsibility. The first time you held your newborn, weren’t you overcome with the fact that you were going to play an important role in shaping that little one into the adult he or she would become? Did you understand that you held an eternal soul in your arms?

Kids learn from us, even if our parenting is not intentional. They learn to laugh by watching what we think is funny. They learn how to handle anger, how to love, how to work and play, from watching us.

Kids learn from our example, but if that’s the extent of your parenting, you might as well be an alley cat teaching her young how to hunt. Our children need more than just an example.

In the chapters I read today in God’s Word, Moses is telling the Jews they need to obey God. They need to love and fear Him so God can bless them, and not destroy them. He talked about the Ten Commandments, and in 11:13-15 he shares what God told him about all that:

So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today– to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul– then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

Once again we are reminded blessings follow obedience. And if we lived our lives like Moses describes, we’d be living a pretty good example for our kids to follow. But then, Moses said something more.

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframe of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. (18-21)

Do your children understand why you laugh at certain things and not others? Do they know that they can be angry and not sin? Have you explained to them that love is more than a feeling? Have you talked to them about why you go to work every day, why you do your best on your job, why you ask for forgiveness when you are wrong, why you go to church, why you believe what you believe? Have you talked to them about what sin is?Your children are not kittens. They need to know these things. And they won’t know unless you talk to them about it.

God told the children of Israel to write His commandments on their doorframes and gates. Makes me wonder what we have hanging on our walls in our homes. Makes me wonder what TV shows our kids see us watch. Do we talk to our kids about those things?

What are your conversations like around your dinner table? (I hope you make it a point to gather around your dinner table) What do you talk about when you are together in the car? Have you sat on the swing in the back yard with your child, and enjoyed God’s creation together, talking about how it all began?

I think God is challenging us to make it a point to talk to those little ones in our lives about spiritual things at a very early age. Sure, it’s important to model morality, and work ethic, kindness, and respect. It’s important to live lives that demonstrate obedience to God. But it’s also important that our children understand the whats and whys of our choices before a Holy God. And it’s even more important that they understand their own choices and responsibilities before the same Holy God.

It’s eternally important.

 

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4 thoughts on “Deuteronomy 9-11; Parenting Eternal Souls

  1. Looking Up!

    Very good.
    I didn’t grow up in church or in anything of the Lord, but by His grace and drawing me to Him I began my journey. When my first son was about 4 or so (actually when I was young I tried to read the bible and learn…I had this burning desire even then and I suppose that is when the Lord God first began drawing me even though I don’t have one of those stories about being saved and suddenly my life was different. ) As I was an adult by age anyway, God continued to bring people across my path that would maybe steer my direction just a little at a time. I am now 52 and still I learn everyday. God still teaches me things I must change about myself in order to be more like my Father in Heaven. I never want Him to stop revealing the wickedness in my very own heart. My regret is that I wasn’t further in my journey when my boys were young. As a result I didn’t show them and teach them as some of the things you noted. I did some things but probably didn’t do so well at walking it out consistently. Now my boys are grown men and they don’t want to hear anything about God and His word and salvation.

    Ok, I cannot change the past. I can keep praying for them. After all, God is not on His throne saying “What on earth did she do…now what? Now how will I fix this mess? ” No, He created the beginning and He already knows the end. He isn’t surprised. I pray others read your post and can teach their children while they are young and then they won’t live with the regret and guilt of wishing they had done more when they might have the opportunity.
    Be blessed and be a blessing!

    Reply
    1. cazehner Post author

      Oh dear one, my heart breaks as I read this. I don’t think there is a parent around who feels they did everything right in raising their children. And I believe Satan would have us chained to the past with regret, wishing we had done more. I love what you said about praying for your adult children today. Prayer is a most powerful tool! And I love the picture you painted of God on His throne NOT being stumped by our mistakes. Remember He loves your sons even more than you do, and He is working in their lives right this minute, whether they are ready to admit that or not. I have an idea they see Jesus in you, and can feel His love through you. But I also hope young parents will take seriously what you’ve said through your testimony. Our kids are only young once. What we can teach them in our homes has such a short timeline. We need to be intentional, and consistent while we have the opportunity. Thank you for sharing your heart. I will be praying for you and your sons.

      Reply

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