Don’t you love kids? I do. There is this raw, real, unpolished, unpretentious, unpackaged authenticity and realness to them, for better or for worse! 🙂 I also love young spiritual children as well (though they may be chronologically older, even adult-aged). They too can have that wide-eyed hungry (even naive), teachable way about them that is refreshing and alive. I love being around real life like that. But with having children (biologically or spiritually) comes an enormous amount of spiritual responsibility.
It is when I had my first child, Nathaniel, that this hit me like a lightning bolt. I read Deuteronomy 6:4-9, and it changed my life’s focus, calling, and passion. Here it is:
4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 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. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as [b]frontals [c]on your forehead.9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
There they were, my marching orders from the Commander Himself. My duty and calling as the father to my children was to first and foremost teach and train them to walk with the Lord, even before my responsibilities to train and take care of them physically, socially, academically, etc. I have been charged to constantly bring them before the voice, heart, desires, and will of our God Almighty, through the priceless gift of His matchless Word; and I am to do it passionately, authentically, creatively, and in heavy doses. Every chance that I get. Waking. Sleeping. Walking. Playing. Eating. Talking. Traveling. Every chance that I get. That was really the underlying impetus behind us homeschooling them.
That’s why I get so excited when I see a young couple like Robert and Kathy take that charge to heart as well, as they begin exposing their daughter to God’s Word at her young age (these pics are the first pics of Hannah “doing” Bible study 🙂 wink, wink). They know that even though she’s the cutest little thing (did you see her last night??? Sooooo cute!), God’s Word tells us the truth: little Hannah is a born-sinner, depraved at her core. Little Hannah needs a Savior and needs to come to Jesus and to grow in His grace. And that cannot happen without the power of His Word.
And you cannot grow in grace without the power of His Word either. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 applies to YOU. YOU need to talk of His Word when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. YOU need to bind them as a sign on your hand and as frontals on your forehead. YOU need to write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
As a spiritual father to some of you, and a spiritual uncle to most of you, I charge you and plead with you to examine the life you’re living, who you’re living it with, the way you spend your time, the activities you engage in, the conversations you have, etc. Then, I ask you to do some re-organizing of your life to make more time to study, sit under, meditate on, pray through … God’s Word.
Do it this summer, so that by the time you return to school, more time in His Word will be ingrained into your schedule! – Arthur