“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 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.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Tonight, at dinner, we were talking about the baptisms we had watched at church. While we talked about baptism, the kids were busy being kids. The 9-year-old was intently engaged in the conversation and answered most of our questions. The 7-year-old answered a few, but he had other off-topic additions to make. The 5-year-old told us he “was in” and would jump in any pool anytime. A chance to have attention and get wet was right up his alley. He also played with the salt shaker and asked me repeatedly why the cursive “L” looked more like an “E.”
I was answering him in between the spiritual truths we were discussing and the wisdom I was trying to impart into his heart. I glanced at my husband and he smiled at me with a chuckle in his eye that said, “Why are we even bothering? He isn’t listening.” I smiled back.
It would have been easy to stop the conversation right then. Distractions come. All day. Every day. They flood our lives, distracting us from what is most important. But perhaps, we are quick to give up too easily. Or worse yet, we never start the important conversations because we are too busy with the less important things that consume our lives.
Not tonight, I had resolved. I told my husband that we would continue talking with the kids about spiritual truths even if it seemed like they were not fully engaged. Because, they really were listening.
Just like Deuteronomy 6:7 says, we have to TALK about these things with our kids and do so all the day long: when we sit, when we walk, when we lie down, in the car, at the table, while playing UNO. We talk, and we talk, and we talk some more. If we do not talk and impart spiritual truths to our kids, then who will? When will they learn them? How will they learn them?
Have you ever thought about how many hours a day you spend training your children in behavior, reading, academics, athletics, social etiquette, etc? Now compare that to the number of hours we spend a day talking to our kids about God: His beauty, His presence in our lives, His word, His truth. I know I come up short many days in this area, but I challenge all of us to do better.
Our kids need to know God and be anchored to Him and the truth in His word, now more than ever before. The world is talking to them all day about the things it values. We must start talking, distractions or not, about what God values. And, we must do this as the word instructs… all the day long.