4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 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. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
What’s the job of a good parent? It’s plainly here in Deuteronomy. A good parent is not responsible to make his son into a good baseball player or his daughter into a Disney princess. A good parent is not responsible for making her daughter into a doctor or her son into a scientist. A good parent can do those things, but there is something that clearly overrides them in significance. A good parent must teach his or her children the ways, the words, the law of the Lord.
In the famous passage above, look what parents are to do. We are to speak the word of God to our children, talking about it all the time. We are to talk about God’s word at breakfast, while traveling, at bedtime, and anytime in between. We are to have God’s word present as we enter our home. We are to have God’s word on our heads, our minds, and on our hands, our actions. Our lives are to be totally saturated with making sure that our children know who God is, what pleases him, and how they are to get under his grace.
Oh, there are a thousand life skills I want my kids to have. I want them to appreciate music, sports, art, literature, and fine food. I want them to think well, grasp logic, understand philosophy, and love knowledge. I want them to have good manners, to be kind, to care for the needy, and to be wonderfully outgoing. I want them to be the kinds of people who others want to be around. But, above all this, I want my children to know God by knowing his word and his ways. If I fail to introduce them to God by failing to help them to know his word, I fail to parent them as I ought.