Impress them on your children….
Last week we talked about Christian world view, how you see and frame the world, is important for parents. The way you see things, the values you have, are the ones picked up by your children. It’s hard to fake them out!
This week we continue with the thought that we must be intentional about bringing God’s message to His children.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NIV)
6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.
7 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.
8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
We’ll take these on one phrase at a time, beginning with “are to be upon your hearts.”
To “impress” something means to either leave a mark on something (physically) or to “fix an idea in someone’s mind” (also giving the idea of permanence).
I went online and entered the question “Should parents teach their children their religion.”
I wasn’t (but maybe should have been) prepared for how many basically said “no, that the children should be given options, taught about all religious choices and left to decide for themselves.”
It doesn’t take much to see that this isn’t the message from Deuteronomy.
The chart on the left shows where this is taking us in our society – one-third of 18-29 year olds, when asked to check their religious affiliation, simply check “none.” These “Nones” are a growing segment of our society. The rise of this group is said to be in part because of a lessening religious commitment.
It shouldn’t surprise us that families that don’t put an emphasis on religion, who don’t want to be bothered with it, put their priorities on other activities, or simply don’t feel it is right for the parent to “impose” their religion on their children, that we end up with stats like these.
I’m also going to guess that you as a Christian parent don’t want your child to one day mark “none” as their religious affiliation.
Next week we’ll start with strategies to keep the chances higher that they will stay in the faith of their parents.