“Teach them to your children and grandchildren.” Deuteronomy 4:9 NKJV
“Truth is a sacred trust to pass on to the next generations.”
My thoughts today are about “a sacred trust.”
What do you think when you read this verse? “Teach them to your children and grandchildren.” Deuteronomy 4:9 NKJV. You may not have children, or maybe you are far from having grandchildren and might think this is really not for me at this time. Maybe someday, but not now! If that were your thoughts, you would be wrong. The question you should ask is, “What will my life teach?”
According to the Book of Lists, fear of public speaking ranks number one in the minds of a majority of people – right up there with death and disease? Teaching is not as frightening as you might first think. When people hear the word “teaching,” they think of speaking in front of an audience. The terrorizing question is: what would I say? Teaching is not the problem; knowing the right topic is.
“Be very careful never to forget what you have seen the Lord do for you. Do not let these things escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.” Deuteronomy 4:9 NLT. God gives you the right topic – “what you have seen the Lord do!” A parent is expected to tell God’s story to their family through their own life and its lessons learned. That is not describing a formal activity of teaching. It is intended to be a natural expression of caring and connection. Turning your home into a classroom is not the point. Holding your family attentive against their will is not the recommended method. Your life and its lessons learned are the classroom where your children are taught, by your example as much as your words.
Listen to Moses advice to Israel’s fathers. Read Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NIV. (1) What you teach begins with what’s in your heart. “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and all your strength.” Your whole-hearted conviction of God’s love is where you begin. (2) Truth must ring true to your children. “Impress them on your children.” Your goal is to put truth in their hearts, not information in their heads. (3) Keep it real; keep it clear. “Talk about them.” Truth has to be real in you to become real to your children. Your job is not to convince your children; your job is to let them see you are convinced. (4) Share practical truth at every opportunity you are given. “At home and on your journeys, at the end and beginning of days . .” (My paraphrase). Don’t procrastinate; your time to teach and their time to listen and learn are limited. It’s not about facts alone; it’s all about passing on the Faith. See Jude 3 NKJV.
Teaching is simply telling another what you learned and what is important to you. Whatever your age now, consider what you want to share with people important to your life; then live your life true to the truth you want to share. What truths govern what you believe, how you conduct yourself, and who you are? Truth is a sacred trust to pass on to the next generations. How you do so will be unique to you; but however you choose to do it, pass it on! See Ephesians 6:4 NIV/Psalm 78:3-7 NIV.
In September 2007, I began writing some daily thoughts and comments to our eldest granddaughter, Lauren, when she went to university. From the Bible and some practical application taught me across my lifetime, I wanted to encourage her faith and spiritual growth, and also leave some record for all of our grandchildren of a real faith that I learned from my Dad and grandfather, and has blessed and guided my life and our family since – practical principles and wisdom I was taught, learned, and consider of primary importance. That continues today as EveryDay Life, but my grandchildren are the ones in mind as I write. I wish I had listened and learned more, and lived better! I would be a better teacher and example now.
My prayer for you today is: live today the way you hope your children will live some day.