The Shema is found in Deuteronomy 6:4-6, and is foundational in understanding the role that parents have to pass on their faith to their children. It is the parent's job to reflect God to their children.
God's Design for Making Disciples of the Next Generation:
1. The primary disciple makers of the next generation are their parents.
2. The primary equipper of parents is the local church.
Deuteronomy 6:4-6 has 3 key commands:
1. Hear - This means to "listen with obedience". Unfortunately, too many parents take their eyes and ears off of Jesus and begin comparing or using the world's ideals to parent their kids. There is a spiritual attack on every family.
2. Love - Jesus says this is the greatest command. Love is to be on the heart. What we love is what we do! The greatest predictor of your child's heart is your heart.
The Heart of an ABLE parent:
A. We love our children best when we first love our spouse.
B. We love our spouse and children best when we first love God.
Children are on the earth to bring glory to God. We need to schedule priorities to reflect this. Every opportunity is not right. Kid's mimic what you do. Too often, we have a disconnected faith.
3. Teach them Diligently - It is important to have daily rhythms. We must teach with actions and with words. There are several ways this plays out:
A. Mom and Dad formally initiates - planned faith talks (like this Table Talk)
B. Kid's initiate - Be ready!
C. Along the way - God moments that you can capitalize on.
Etching a Love for God on the Hearts of My Children (Deut 6:7):
1. Engage in the life of the church as a family - don't just come...get involved.
2. Tell them your faith story. Be sure to tell your past story and your current story.
3. Choose in moments to lead in faith conversations. The souls of your children outlast everything.
4. Hold them up before God daily in prayer. Pray with them more than your pray for them. This will change your family.
To Discuss Today:
1. When do you fall into the "comparison" trap with the way other families look or act? Why do you do this?
2. What do you want most for your kids? Are your current rhythms consistent with your desires for your children's futures?
3. What healthy rhythms do you have set up? What can you do to protect them if needed or change them if needed?