God’s Four Step Plan
God’s people were on the verge of moving into the promised land. After 400 years of slavery, and another 40 of wandering in the desert, God was bringing them into the land he promised.
Moses was giving his final charge to the people of God. He was giving them God’s game plan for how they were to live in the promised land. He was giving them a strategy to be able to stay in the promised land. Moses shares these words in Deuteronomy 6.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 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.
The strategy for God’s people was the passing on of God’s truth through the vehicle of the family. The commands that Moses gave were to be upon the parents’ hearts. In turn, the parents were to impress or make an impression of those commands upon the children.
The grand strategy for bringing about the spiritual health of the nation was to be accomplished through the family.
You see, God understands families. He is the creator of this institution called family. He knows that the single greatest factor of influence in your life will be your parents.
Why? I think because of the sheer volume of time parents spend with their kids. There is an inevitable factor of influence. I mean, how many of you have ever caught yourself saying the very thing your parents always said that you swore you would never say? Family of origin is one of the most significant factors of influence in someone’s life.
God gives us four simple and ready-made opportunities, through the everyday ups and downs of life, to influence our kids for the glory of God.
He tells us to talk about them when we sit at home and when we walk along the road, when we lie down and when we get up.
First he tells us to talk about them when you sit at home. Dinnertime is the major point of convergence for every member of our family. Everything stops, and we are together. We ask simple questions every night at dinner. What was the best part of your day, and what was the most challenging part of your day? We don’t always talk directly about a particular Bible passage, nor do we have a formal Bible study. Yet it’s an amazing time to consistently reinforce how our Christian worldview dictates how we view situations and how we respond according to the Bible.
Second, he tells us to talk about them when you walk along the road. Our family tries to make good use of our drivetime. We often have faith-based stories, Scripture songs or other spiritually enriching opportunities for the captive audience in our minivan-turned-taxicab. Listen, where we can have influence, let’s do it.
Third, the Lord tells us to talk about them when we lie down. Personally, I see this as the single greatest opportunity for us to reach our kids. There is an uncharacteristically open heart when kids are in their jammies and nestling down into their beds. Consistently reading the Bible to my kids at night has been one of the most significant spiritual experiences in our family. These rich times are brief and often fleeting, but stacked together, night after night, they do their job of enriching their hearts toward heaven.
Finally, God instructs us to talk about them when we get up. Often in our home, as breakfast is hurriedly being served, I have simply asked the following question, “Hey guys, what did we read about last night from the Bible?” I have a degree in teaching and a Masters degree and effective instruction. There is great value in simply drawing up from our long-term memory and recalling last night’s story. There will be significant retention by using this simple strategy alone. It is simple. It is quick. It works.
Our goal is to impress God’s word upon our children. The vehicle is the family. The content is the glory of God. The driver truly is you, the parent.
- Recall: What are the four opportunities given to us daily to influence our children?
- Reflect: Do you utilize all four opportunities to impress faith on your children?
- Respond: How can you as a parent intentionally use these four opportunities to impress God’s Word upon your children? Make an action plan of how you will use dinner time, drive time, bed time and breakfast time for God’s glory.
- Rethink: What are you doing right now to impress God’s Word upon your children?