When our son Xavier was a toddler, we took a family trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. As we entered the building, I pointed to a large sculpture suspended from the ceiling. “Look. A humpback whale.”
Xavier’s eyes widened. “Enormous,” he said.
My husband turned to me. “How does he know that word?”
“He must have heard us say it.” I shrugged, amazed that our toddler had soaked up vocabulary we’d never intentionally taught him.
In Deuteronomy 6, God encouraged His people to be intentional about teaching younger generations to know and obey the Scriptures. As the Israelites increased their knowledge of God, they and their children would be more likely to grow in reverence of Him and to enjoy the rewards that come through knowing Him intimately, loving Him completely, and following Him obediently (vv. 2–5).
By intentionally saturating our hearts and our minds with Scripture (v. 6), we will be better prepared to share God’s love and truth with children during our everyday activities (v. 7). Leading by example, we can equip and encourage young people to recognize and respect the authority and relevance of God’s unchanging truth (vv. 8–9).
As God’s words flow naturally from our hearts and out of our mouths, we can leave a strong legacy of faith to be passed down from generation to generation (4:9).
The words we take in determine the words we speak, live by, and pass on to those around us.
Deuteronomy 6:4–9, known as the Shema (from the Hebrew for “hear,” v. 4), has been called the Creed of Ancient Israel. It emphasizes the Jewish belief in one God and the importance of transmitting faith in Him to the next generation. As believers in Christ, we can find creative ways to remind others of God’s truths. We begin by saturating ourselves with the Scriptures. Then we can look for teachable moments throughout the day to instruct others.
What are some ways you can remind the next generation of spiritual truths?