by Louis Rushmore
A reader posed the question, asking “how to build a God-fearing and happy family.” A God-fearing family begins with indoctrination—a sort of spiritual inoculation—with God’s Word. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 is an excellent method of instilling God’s Word in one’s family. Of course, Deuteronomy 6 pertains to Judaism, whereas we who live today live under Christianity. Nevertheless, the same procedure for implanting the Word of God into one’s family members will be effective and useful now, too.
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-9)
The process begins with ensuring that one loves God ultimately, completely and totally (vss. 5-6). Unless parents are fully committed to putting God first in their lives, and unless parents are intimately familiar with God’s Word, they will not be able to impart God’s Word effectively to their children.
Then, verse 7 begins by stating that with routine and regularity parents must acquaint their children with God’s Word. Haphazardly and infrequently teaching and practicing themselves the tenets found in the Bible will not adequately impact children with God’s plan for man on earth and for eternity. One’s children will not typically be more enthusiastic about God and His revealed revelation than their parents.
The balance of verse 7 through verse 9 equates to seizing every moment of interaction between parents and their children to emphasize God’s way and the pathway to Heaven. Comparatively speaking, parents have little opportunity to interact with their own children because of the distractions of life (i.e., time spent in school, eating, sleeping, with friends, immersed in diverse media, etc.). In addition, if parents are more concerned about their own free time than guiding their children with the Word of God, neither God nor His Holy Bible will be forefront and effective in the home.
The Bible is the source of potential happiness in the home as well as in one’s future, eternal home. The Bible has guidelines for husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, children, citizens, employees, employers, Christian living, Christian service, Christian worship, etc. The Bible has the key to happiness, then, on earth, which is a precursor to greater, more enduring happiness eternally.