God has no grandchildren. He only has children. As much as we would love it, there is no automatic transfer of God’s truth to others. Everyone must make his or her own spiritual journey.
Moses knew this truth. The mighty leader of one of history’s greatest journeys spent his last words encouraging the Israelites to pass on God’s truth to their children.
To get the full impact of his words recorded in Deuteronomy 6:1-9, understand where the Israelites were. After wandering for 40 years, they stood on the banks of the Jordan River . . . at the very edge of the Promised Land.
Their children and grandchildren would grow up in the new territory before them.
At the beginning of this new life for God’s people, Moses gave a number of directives. I want to highlight one in particular for us:
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 NIV)
This command is not about parents learning theology and stopping there; it is about parents transferring their theology to their children.
What you have heard and what you have grown to love, now teach to your children.
“Talk about them.” Look at how natural Moses made it! Talk, don’t deliver a sermon. Don’t try to force a whole lecture into your dinnertime prayer! Don’t force-feed big chunks of the truth down their throats. Instead, live the truth on a day-to-day basis . . . and let it flow naturally.
If we’re not careful, ministry gets busy and complicated, causing teachable moments to sail past without a word. Don’t let that happen!
Moses’ encouragement in Deuteronomy 6 is as fresh today as it was the day he wrote it. Remember, our first ministry is to our family members. Our primary disciples are our kids.
As pastors, we all want out children to come to know and then grow deeply in their love for Christ. But I assure you, that won’t occur automatically!
Assure your children that your relationship with God is your first priority, that you love Him with all your heart, all your soul, and all your might and that you want to pass these truths to them . . . then live differently.
You’ll need to tell them that God has no grandchildren. Make it clear that this is one decision they must make for themselves. Help them make it early by living it personally.