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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Deuteronomy 6: Love the Lord...





I decided to take the kids through the book of Deuteronomy this summer. I know, sounds daunting to me too, but one thing I know for sure is all that God said to the Israelites, he says to us, (because we're as ridiculous as they were sometimes) and I also see so much value in them getting the big picture of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.
This week we came to Deuteronomy 6. This is a great passage of instructions given to parents.
Listen...
Deut 6:4-9
4 "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. 5 And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again. 8 Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.



How much more specific and complete could this be? Talk about God's instructions when you're lying down, and when you're up, when you're at home, and when you're not...
Tie a reminder on your hand, wear them on your forehead, and write them on your doorposts.
Have we done that?
These were not instructions given to the Temple leaders in how to teach the children.
These were given to parents to teach their children about God.
Have we abdicated our God-given role to be our child's primary Bible teachers and shepherds to the church?
Our church reminds us all the time, they should only be re-inforcing what our kids are already learning at home.
Rusty and I are continuing to learn about how to do this better.
It's been an ever-involving process.
I do Bible verses or a lesson and prayer time with the kids in the morning each day before we start our school day.
Rusty does Bible teaching with the kids in the evening. We both know that Rusty is the lead teacher and is ultimately responsible for what our kids are learning in this house. I come alongside him and help him.
But this summer God has showed us the value of family worship.
We now have "mini-church" I guess you could call it, in the evening with all of us, even the little ones. We sing worship songs, and then Rusty gives a lesson. Sometimes we have drama, because our kids have always enjoyed acting out our lessons. (Last night John the Baptist (Jax) baptized Jesus (Rusty) while the dove/Holy Spirit came upon them (Emma, of course, it's an animal) and the voice of God spoke (Justus; it's pretty different to hear the voice of God in broken three-year-old language, but you get the picture.)
We're not saying our ways of doing this are the only and right way.
But we do know this...teaching our kids to Love the Lord with everything in them is THE thing we teach them. Everything else they learn from us has to take a backseat to this. If I started our school days without laying the foundation with time with Him and growing their knowledge and intimacy with Him, I would be showing them otherwise.
We did tangible things this past week, as you can see in the pictures, to remind us we need to write it on our doorposts, wear it on our foreheads, and talk about Him ALL THE TIME.
What are some ways that you guys are doing this? I love to hear how different families are teaching their kids...share!

5 comments:

Christy said...

With a 2 week old and a 2 year old we are not really doing scheduled Bible time yet though it is time to start it. I am curious if you use any materials for kids/families or if you select a book or passage to study on your own. I am always interested as well in what people use to help them in their family Bible time.

k.rutledge said...

Jenn,
This was so great to read! I love how you are stepping outside the box and being creative with your children. Thank you for reminding me that learning about the bible is only as hard as I make it.
I miss you all!
-Lisa

Jennifer Bacak said...

OH, I forgot to say that we have prayer as a part of worship...how could I leave that out? Their prayers are the best!
Christy, we don't really go through a curriculum, although we bought one once that I liked. But we are basically expositorily teaching our kids right now- going through books of the Bible. I'm doing Deut. and Rusty is doing Matt. We both enjoy that kind of study ourselves.
We have some good children's story Bibles we have used, and some that have stunk. Look carefully at these!
We're keepin' it simple!
jenn

Rachael said...

Yes, I have young ones too and I have started to work with them and I am looking for ideas. You are truly an inspiration.

I am spreading the "word" about this great book for pre-schools because it has been such a great success for me. The kids love it...so I'll pass it along.."This Bible Talks!" by Pamela Fischer. Narrated by Michael David McGuire. Here is the website if any one has pre-schoolers - http://www.thisbibletalks.com

Tie a reminder on your hand!! I love it. Thank you again!!! It is great to see a community sharing.

Marcus and Meg Asby said...

Okay. I need to buy a The-things-I-learned-from-Jesus-through-the-Bacaks-journal.

This post will be copied into it.

PRECIOUS pictures.