Passing It On

August 25, 1999
by David Gellatly

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 – Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon 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. (NIV)

One of the surest signs that we are growing older, or growing up, as my father would say, appears when we start sounding like our parents. We find ourselves not only making the same points that they made to us, but using exactly the same words, tone of voice and manners. It is as if they had possessed our bodies as in some Grade D science fiction movie. Recently, I was listening to my son lament the fact that some of the boys in his Scout troop would spend twenty minutes trying to argue their way out of doing a five-minute chore. When he had finished, I asked him to repeat what he had been saying. Approximately half-way through, he stopped and with a sickly grin said, "Oh no, I sound just like you talking to me."

While it was pleasant to see him realize that maybe I had been right in all those previous lectures, it was also a bit frightening to see how what we talk about with our children ultimately does take root in their minds. It may not appear as if it is sinking in at the time, but it does, and someday it will blossom forth. This is why, as today's scripture says, we must take the time to impress upon our children our faith in the Lord; to teach them about God's grace as made manifest in Christ's sacrifice; to communicate the need to be obedient to the will of the Lord, and the consequences of our actions. We must heed scripture and do this constantly, taking advantage of every opportunity and even making opportunities, so that the seed of faith will be firmly planted in them and not crowded out by the thorns and weeds of worldly temptation.

Prayer: Almighty Father, let your Spirit be with us and guide us so that we will take the time to impress your commandments upon our children, so that they too, in time, will grow up and impress them upon their children. Amen.

About the author:

David Gellatly <gellatly@optonline.net>
South Orange, New Jersey, USA

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