Today I write with much anticipation. I’ve been holding onto some information that I hope you will find encouraging and useful in your daily application of life. The catch to this is that you are a sold out follower of Jesus Christ and you desire to bring your life into complete obedience to Him.
This clearly puts people in one of two camps, more on that later.
I hope to write a several articles on the development of a Biblical family and our journey. Our family continues to be challenged by God’s Word and I see the smallness of my vision. I desire for God to pour out His grace as I work toward a much bigger plan.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
“You shall….” Thus says the LORD. Deuteronomy 6 is a command for fathers. If you are in the first camp this is something you must do. This is not optional for you men if you are going to lead your family as God has designed. You are to teach the commands of God diligently to your children, every moment of every day. Whenever you are with them you should be focused on teaching them lessons about living in the fear of the LORD.
This is NOT optional. Can I say this any louder or with any more urgency?
Fathers this is your job! It’s not the job of the youth group leader with mousse in his hair. It’s not the job of a government run school teacher. It’s not the job of anyone other than you. The big question that determines which camp you reside in will be how seriously you take this directive?
I recently attended a conference and had a brief opportunity to speak with a man that I’ve come to admire tremendously. Geoffrey Botkin and his family have had a great influence in the life of my family. He has influenced me. His wife has influenced my wife and his daughters have influenced my daughters. He is a man that I desire to emulate. I had the opportunity to ask him what simple steps I should take to implement this diligence in my family.
His words still echo in my mind. “Be consistent in family worship…. Have deep and meaningful conversations with your family, and turn off the television. Be producers, not consumers.” Ouch!!! His simple words sunk deep into my heart and pierced me.
We had begun a consistent pattern of family worship many months ago and I was thinking we had a pretty good thing going. Each morning we would gather around the breakfast table and open God’s Word and discuss. Even more recently we began a study of the Proverbs and I began training our family in memorizing the Westminster Shorter Catechism. So we had been working on the “when you rise” part, but weren’t we missing some of the verse?
In the evenings the TV came on and life quickly was passing us by… Passive entertainment “amusement” means to turn off your brain. Literally to “not think” from the Latin word “muse”, to divert your attention so you can be deceived. Consider the seriousness of shutting down your brain? We are a society that seeks constantly to be amused. Do you want to be a consumer or a producer? What are you going to put into your mind?
Last night I turned on the television for a while and after 30 minutes or so of watching something I was sickened by the overt sexuality in the commercials and on the commentary show that was discussing the movie I was watching. The girls came home from their meeting and I decided to turn it off.
Does this mean the TV will never be on in our home? No, this is not some sort of a path to piety. This is not a means by which anyone will be guaranteed salvation. It’s a step to engage my family in something that will profit us for eternity should the LORD be merciful.
So what do we do in the evenings?
It’s been over a month since my brief conversation with Geoffrey Botkin and I’ve made some dramatic changes in our home life. I’ve sought my children’s forgiveness for leading them poorly. We had a family meeting and discussed our purpose in life.
We now gather in the evenings as a family and we have meaningful conversations. I’ve actually learned more about my children and what’s in their hearts. We started reading together or listening to valuable Bible teachers.
We have a long way to go. My children need to understand this life is a battleground and not a playground. We need to understand we are called to be soldiers for Jesus Christ and to bring the world under His dominion. We need to teach diligently “deep spiritual realities”.
Deuteronomy 23:14 For the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and give your enemies over to you; therefore your camp shall be holy, that He may see no unclean thing among you, and turn away from you.
So here is the division between the camps. If the LORD God walks in your camp you will be holy, you will not see unclean things. He will either deliver you or He will turn away from you. Today I hope you will be encouraged and challenged by God’s Word.
God is calling you today to stand firm for Him and to conquer this world for Him.
Psalm 144:1-2 Blessed be the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle-my lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me.