And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up (NLT, Deut. 6:6-7).
A child was caught stealing a mango from his neighbour’s tree. His neighbour was angry and said, “You’re still small but yet dare to steal! Watch out, I’ll tell your father and you’ll get a good caning from him!” Suddenly, the child looked up into the tree and screamed, “Daddy …, Daddy…, come down quickly! We’ve been caught!” This piece of humour reminds me of the saying, “Like father, like son”.
It is common to find Christian knick-knacks in many believers' home: wooden crosses, frames hung on the walls with Bible verses on them, etc. These give visitors the impression that they are Christians. However, the question is, “Are these knick-knacks merely decorative objects or do they serve as important reminders of Christian principles to the occupants for them to apply in their daily lives? Do the family members emulate Christ in the way they live their life?
God, through Moses, commanded the Israelites to obey His commands wholeheartedly. Besides, they were to teach His commands to their children when they were at home, on the road, going to bed and getting up. God had a strong reason for that. Remember the historical setting of Deuteronomy. Moses was giving his final instructions to the Israelites before they entered Canaan. Moses could not go with them (Deut. 3:23-29). After leading them for forty years, he had to leave them to enter the Promised Land without him. He was giving Israel the tools and weapons they would need to overcome the pagan Canaanites when they dwelt among them. What weapon would enable them to conquer a pagan land filled with idols and ferocious warriors? It was not what one might expect. God told them to talk to their children about Him every day. Moses told the Israelites not to forget God when they entered the land (Deut. 6:12). The continual teaching about God and what He was doing for His people was needed as it was a vital weapon against their enemies. It was the key to their children’s success (see Deut. 4:40).
God tells us to seek Him individually and keep His commands. When we saturate our hearts and minds with God’s Word, His Word flows naturally from our hearts and minds, and out of our mouth. This puts us in a good position to share God’s love and truth with children, through His Word. We can set an example to them through our living by God’s Word so that they will recognise and respect the authority and relevance of His unchanging Word. In so doing, our words and actions will leave a lasting legacy of faith that will pass on from generations to generations (Deut. 4:9).
The words we take in determine the words we speak, live by, and pass on to those around us (ODB, 25 June 2017).