This series is titled Hidden in My Heart, a three part series on treasuring God’s Word in our hearts as mothers and teaching our children to do the same. My prayer is that God uses these words to encourage moms and point them to Jesus, our Good Shepherd! You can read Part 1-The Doorposts & The Gates here.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV
Late one summer evening in 1984, I was sitting and talking with my mom. We talked about anything and everything that was on my mind. She went on to share with me that our elderly friend, Mary, had died. We talked about this woman who loved Jesus, what happens after we die, Jesus, the cross, sin, salvation, and Heaven. I don’t know the exact moment that God saved me, but that night I prayed a prayer of repentance and faith. My life has never been the same. Christ filled my heart with His love and grace and gave me an urgent desire to share the gospel with anyone I could. I knew that I belonged to God and I wanted others to know God’s great love too. Praise to God!
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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.” Deuteronomy 6:7
That night was just one of the hundreds of ways my mom applied this verse to her life and sought to hide God’s Word in her children’s hearts. Whether we were sitting and chatting on her bed, as I asked her questions about her life, or whether we were pulling weeds in the flower beds, or walking in the rain, as she tucked me in at night and when we rose in the morning. She took this verse very seriously as part of her calling in motherhood. Every opportunity she had to point us to Jesus, she would take it. I still love the smell of my mother’s leather Bible and all the many verses she would read to me, highlighted from years of study.
In this passage, Moses doesn’t offer this as a suggestion to Israel, but says, “You shall,” meaning that God lovingly commands this, for His glory, and for their good. This is His mercy towards us that we might know joy, peace, comfort, strength, truth. We can apply this to our lives too. God wants us to talk about His Word, throughout the day, wherever we go, whenever we get a chance to relate something back to God, something back to His Word. When you go to the park, when you are camping, when you tuck them in at night, when you wake up in the morning, when you are working with them through a friendship issue, speaking Scripture out loud to your children so they hear the Word of God daily. God wants us to center our lives in relation to Him and who He is.
How do we do this in our homes?
There are many good resources available these days, and many ways to creatively implement the teaching of Scripture to our children. When I was starting out in motherhood, I asked some trusted, older women who were a little ahead of me in parenting which resources they used and then from there added other resources that fit our family. This is simply a springboard to jump off of if you’re looking for some ideas.
1. Talking about God’s Ways
Moses and the Israelites lived during the age of oral tradition. They passed on knowledge and understanding by simply talking about it, on and on through the generations. He says, “you shall… talk of them…” We talk about God’s ways while we walk, while we play, while we swim, while we go grocery shopping. We can ask them questions and start conversations, pointing them back to what the Bible says and planting seeds, praying that the Holy Spirit will produce His fruit in His timing.
2. Reading God’s Word
Before there were ever Bible storybooks, children’s music cd’s, and Veggietales, there was the Bible. And while I will add to this list some of our favorite music and books simply because we love music and books here at the Harris house, it must be said that the Bible is completely and totally enough! You don’t need to add to the reading of Scripture. Often, I read to my children as they fall asleep at night. I love these special times together. And sometimes, if I haven’t had time in the Word that day, I read a portion of Scripture to them or work through different books of the Bible. For several years, my husband and I have incorporated family worship time with singing, reading Scripture and working through a catechism. Since transitioning from pastoral life to seminary life, we are still figuring out how that looks in this busy season of life. However it works for your family, children need to hear Scripture and they will soak it up asking for more! Let them feast on God’s Word!
3. God has gifted authors, musicians, actors and producers with creativity to bless His people and the culture around them in artistic ways. The following is a list of a few resources we have loved:
Story Bibles, Catechism, Theology for Kids:
The Jesus Storybook Bible
Rain for Roots (3 albums)
Seeds Family Worship (looking forward to checking this one out soon!)
Slugs & Bugs (looking forward to checking this one out soon!)
Children Desiring God
There are many other books and devotionals we have used and several other ways we have taught our children the Bible and I’m excited to continue to share books, music and resources that build up homes in the love of God’s Word and family worship times. Moses called the Israelites to teach their children, diligently, the Word of God. To hide God’s Word in our children’s hearts, we need to know God’s Word for ourselves, which will be the theme of my last post in this series.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:11 NIV