God's manual for parents: Deuteronomy 6
Many parents lament, “Kids don’t come with manuals!” That expression acknowledges that parenting is difficult, and that parents wish they had somewhere definitive to turn for troubleshooting.
Thankfully, kids do come with manuals. God has not only blessed parents with children; He has gifted families with a manual on precisely how to raise children for a blessed life without end.
The Bible is that manual. Want proof? Look no further than Deuteronomy 6:1-2, 4-9:
These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life…
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 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. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
There it is. It’s the roadmap for successful parenting. Even more, it’s the roadmap for a blessed life for all families and beyond, even for when your children leave the nest. It’s the roadmap for families to be blessed in this life and for all eternity.
Let’s consider that roadmap as summarized in Deuteronomy 6 above:
Step 1: Recognize that there is only One Saving God who made you, gave you your family, and can rescue you. (That’s all implied in verse 4.)
Step 2: Love this God with all you are, all you have, and with all you’ve got (vs. 5).
Step 3: Engrave what He wants, His will, on your heart (vs. 6).
Step 4: Infuse what God wants into the DNA of your kids (vs. 7a). How? Talk about this Savior God all the time with your kids whenever and wherever you’re at. Whatever your hands find to do, do it with your Lord’s desires in mind. All the thoughts you think, let them be born of the Lord’s desires so that when your thoughts turn to words and actions, the Lord’s will is done.
Step 5: Finally, put it all on show for you and your children to proclaim to the world what defines your family. The LORD. His Saving Work. No more. No less (vs. 7b-9).
That’s the roadmap for family life and successful parenting. Of course, the details of what it looks like to love God with all you are and to live out that engraving of His will on our hearts – all of that necessitates lifelong study of God’s Word, both at home and church. It requires a new lifestyle that flows from diving into God’s Word. And all of that is contrary to our sinful default setting for parenting where we simply parent from the model given to us by our parents, the world, or from mere instinct.
Be encouraged! There is a manual to guide you into all godly parenting. Deuteronomy 6:1-9 is such a roadmap. We’re so glad to walk along alongside you on your parenting journey. Welcome to myfamilytable.org. Let the journey begin!