I have talked about our “Deuteronomy verse” that first told Ray and I that we should teach our kids God’s ways all the time—in all situations. And we blissfully encouraged ourselves with that verse for many, many years in our parenting. Then, for some odd reason, we read the earlier part of the verse—and it hit us between the eyes:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” Deuteronomy 6:5-7 NJKV.
This, coupled with a couple of other verses that I will share in the next few days, practically shouted to us—“Get it together! You can’t give your kids what you do not have!”
This verse showed us that we should love God with everything—then have his commandments (and his ways, his teachings) in our hearts/lives. And THEN teach them to our kids.
No, we did not become perfect. I still mess up! Ray does too (though not as often as I!). But we made it our primary goal to become what we want our kids to be eventually—and God blessed our efforts, imperfections and all.
The kids know that in my heart of hearts (and Ray’s as well) we truly want to live God’s word and God’s ways. They know that we strive to live what we teach. They know we are not perfect—but they trust our motives, intentions, and efforts. And that trust can only be gained from our children as they see us trying to do what we are asking of them.