Father's Day.

This week, we will find 3 ways dads can guide their homes to bring increased stability and spiritual progress to every soul in their family.

For hundreds of years, Jewish people rehearsed a statement every morning and evening to aid them in living a God-centered life. As generations grew, this was passed down through families as a spiritual legacy. This saying is found in Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!" Similar wording is also found in Deuteronomy 11:18-23 and Numbers 15:41. Jesus would have been taught this routine as a boy, and as an adult, he taught the same. (See Mark 12 and Luke 10.) This saying provided the foundation of good doctrine and living.

Moses was teaching the Israelites as they prepared to enter the Promised Land. In every uncertain time, God and His love for his people remains unchanged. Unfortunately, distractions in the wilderness often caused Israel to fall away from the truth they recited each day.

One contemporary Jewish rabbi explained the Shema:

"'Shema Israel' calls upon us, no matter what our notion of God is, to 'listen up' to what God requires of us. The word means much more than auditory function; it means to pay attention and understand as well, and even atheist Jews among us are called upon by the Shema to at least wrestle with the notion of God and believe. Then we are called to put into action our understanding of what God requires of us: to love God fully at all times in every place."

When we are restored to God in Christ, the indwelling Holy Spirit helps us live biblical realities. Only there is good success found. Fathers must know God and the Bible more than any platform, ideology, politics, and vocation, and pass this to their children.

Conviction (Deuteronomy 6:4)

A.W. Tozer said, "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." God has revealed much of who He is, what He does, and what He desires. Do you have a deep conviction to know who God is?

The first phrase of this verse says the Lord is "our" God. David called Him "my" shepherd in Psalm 23:1. Is He your personal God? Is he the God of your children?

This remembrance of God in the Shema could be merely intellectual for the average Israelite, or it could also be personal and volitional. We should think much and often about our God and explore who He is. To know, love, and live for God should be the first obligation and reason for our existence every day.

Passion (Deuteronomy 6:5-6)

Next, we must live the conviction of who God is to us. We have no real theology without living it. The first way to live our knowledge is to love God. As we know God, we will love Him more.

B.B. Warfield wrote the following about the knowledge of God:

"When we consider the surpassing glory of the subject-matter with which theology deals, it would appear that if ever science existed for its own sake, it might surely be true of this science. The truths concerning God and his relations are, above all comparison, in themselves the most worthy of all truths of study and examination. Yet we must vindicate a further goal for the advance of theology and thus contend for it that it is an eminently practical science. The contemplation and exhibition of Christianity as truth, is far from the end of the matter. This truth is specially communicated by God for a purpose, for which it is admirably adapted. That purpose is to save and sanctify the soul. And the discovery, study, and systematization of the truth is in order that, firmly grasping it and thoroughly comprehending it in all its reciprocal relations, we may be able to make the most efficient use of it for its holy purpose."

A passion for God gives way to a study of God which leads to living as God desires. The book of Deuteronomy has 3 primary emphases: absolute devotion to God; warm, unselfish compassion for God's creation; and purity from all that is worldly and ungodly. These all stem from the primary emphasis found in Deuteronomy 6:5: loving God supremely. As another writer said, "To love the Lord with all one's being is man's supreme obligation." This is detailed 12 times in the book of Deuteronomy.

Verse 5 summarizes Deuteronomy 6:1-3. This could be a call to salvation for those in Israel who still had "hearts of stone" (Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26). Without being born again, it's impossible to carry God's Word with us and apply it to life.

Interaction (Deuteronomy 6:7-9)

How do we make sure these things are the primary things in our home?

Herbert Wolf wrote in his commentary, "To underscore the importance of Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and other similar exhortations, Moses urged the people to use every means possible to teach these commandments to their children. Whether at home or walking along the road, parents were to talk to their children constantly about God and what He requires." As a physical reminder, the Jews wrote this text and others on parchment, rolled in leather pouches, and wore them as a reminder of the way God's people are to live. By the time Jesus arrived, the wearing of phylacteries was revealed for many to be religious show, claiming to own God but being unable to live out His Word. However, the practice started with good intentions. Faithful parents found creative ways to make sure their children were daily saturated with the Scripture.

Similar passages for Christians today are 2 Peter 1:3, James 1:25, and John 17:17. There is nothing in our or our children's everyday experience that the Bible does not speak to. In Matthew 4, Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 6 and 8:3 n the face of temptation. Jesus was taught the Shema and the Law of Moses; even He knew that man could not exist well without knowing and applying God's Word to everyday life situations.

When Israel stopped rehearsing and living this, they began to drift away from God, with disastrous circumstances. God's Word must be the centerpiece of our homes.

Application Points

  • Have you begun a love relationship with God? Is He your God? Is He the God of your children? What do you know about Him? Learn together His names, His history with His people, His character, His revelation through Jesus Christ, just to name a few starting places.
  • Dads, have you taught your children about God? Have you called on their hearts to love Him? Is it evident in your home that you are absolutely in love with your God? Do you talk about Him often, live and share his love? Disciplers, does the person you are leading know the same of you?
  • Do you have a Word-saturated home, not just in formal settings but everyday life moments? Have you taught your children to memorize the Bible so they can apply it when you are not present? Children and young people today encounter a tsunami of information from our world. The information they receive about God should be at least an equal tsunami, and its communication should be planned with the same intentionality. Children are wooed away by the world usually because they didn't have a heart for God cultivated over interaction.
  • Have you invited your child into your life to know God and live out His will together? This is the most special relationship a parent can have with their child! If you are doing this together, keep up the good work and don't grow weary. If you aren't yet, it is never too late to ask forgiveness and start!

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Ephesians 6:4 – Teach your family to know God's Word so you can live it together.