Easier Than We Think
Learning new stuff is hard work! As a matter of fact, it may be the hardest thing in life – learning. Sometimes learning new things means having to unlearn old stuff. It’s a huge challenge. As a matter of fact, it requires emotional work, mental stretching, sometimes considerable financial investment, and sometimes the sacrifice seems to outweigh the long term benefit. With all said, there are some things that are just worth learning. The risk of not learning it weighs far greater than the alternative. This is the reality of life. In many cases, the question is, are you willing to take the risk and invest the sweat equity to make it happen?
Reaching our children and successive generations is one of those realities that are worth the risk. Not learning how to ‘reach’ our young people has the risk of successive generations not having the metal toughness to handle what life delivers. Not reaching our children runs the risk of being ignorant about the realness of God, the handiwork of God, and even the unfailing love of God. Not reaching our ‘blessings from God’ runs the absolute risk that integrity, moral living would be diminished, righteous standards would be lowered and erased, and common sense (however you define it) would be desecrated. All hopes of a civil society, powerful families, ethical government, neighborly love, and genuine concern of people would all but become figments of our imagination.
And while none of us would disagree with these strong suppositions, we approach them as if they are impossible feats and inconceivable destinations. Our government has had enough panels and written reports to fill not only the Library of Congress, but every local library that exists. Many youth leaders at local ministries and para-church organizations have been dismissed because the assumption has been that they aren’t reaching enough young people. Our educational institutions have politicked and debated the issue for years with similar results. There are glimmers of hope to all of these challenges. The Word of God offers us hope.
Deuteronomy seems to paint a picture for us that our children are not only reachable, but when we reach them, they can handle all of the prosperity, success, freedom, and great lifestyles that will be afforded to them. It wouldn’t make sense for one generation to work to build great opportunity that the following generation destroys. So God invites His children, “Love GOD, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got! (6) Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you (7) and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. (8) Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; (9) inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates” (Message).
It becomes clear that if we approach our lives in this way, rearing our children with this perspective, and shift our resources (time and dollars) to this paradigm, the results that we get from the investment in our children become incalculable.
These verses beg the question “Is this hard to do?” I don’t think it is. It’s not an overnight feat easy to be done, but it’s not a reality that escapes our lifestyles. We are admonished to:
1. Love God with all you’ve got.
2. Make God’s Word visible in every place you can.
3. Teach and provide understanding of God’s Word to your children
4. Be diligent to make sure every area of your life is synchronized with the authority of God’s Word.
So, what we clearly see now is that reaching our children isn’t as hard as the idea of obeying God. Here’s where we must learn something new. It is hard work, there are risks involved, but we must resolve simply to obey God, like our very lives depend on it. Indeed, our children’s lives do.
“5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on 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.” – Dueteronomy 6:5-9