“You shall wet and sharpen them [the words] so as to make them penetrate, and teach and impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up, And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets (forehead bands) between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the doorpost of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:7-9–Amplified Bible).
“We aren’t capable of truly teaching until we are first following, hearing, obeying, loving and being occupied with the Lord ourselves, as parents. We must model the Word as we teach.”
5 FUNCTIONS OF FATHERHOOD
First, we are to be PROGENITORS. A progenitor is an ancestor in the direct line: “Forefather, the originator of or original model for something; a “teacher”. That is Webster’s Dictionary meaning, but what does Scripture say about a progenitor?
“The blessings of your father [on you] are greater than the blessings of my forefathers [Abraham and Isaac on me] and are lasting as the bounties of the eternal hills” (Genesis 46:26).
What we are modeling and teaching our children as parents are “lasting” and productive as “the eternal hills” even though you don’t see it now.
There are five ways that show us how this “teaching” is to be done in Deuteronomy 6:7-9. Open your bible to this passage if you haven’t already:
Though parents have many important tasks and responsibilities, none are more important, with greater implications than this responsibility of teaching “diligently” and not to be taken lightly.
–INCISIVELY AND ACCURATELY.
To “diligently sharpen” means: to teach clearly and accurately not in vague generalities; our teaching must be clear and precise!
The verses in Deuteronomy 6 indicate that teaching is not a once-in-a-while or a one time effort. It goes on all the time.
“talk of them [God’s Word] when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
The secret to learning is repetition!
Teaching is to be done when we sit down after coming home tired from the workplace at night, after diner. When we sit down in our Lazy-Boy chair in front of the television, when we walk around the neighborhood, before we go to bed and when we get up in the morning getting the kids ready for school. When you say, “This is the day that the Lord has made, Rejoice and be glad in it” as they are walking out the front door, don’t be discouraged if they might roll their eyes at you. You are teaching them NATURALLY!
We are to look for opportunities by word and examples in the home. Our homes are the natural God-given place to communicate and display the Word of God. It’s the place “where life makes up its mind”.
What our children learn in Sunday school and church is important! BUT, we can’t rely on this alone. The passages in Deuteronomy 6:7-9 are directly speaking to parents and not the church as it stresses modeling and teaching of our kids. What one ‘says’, rarely as influential as what one ‘does’. When parents listen, obey and love, in accordance to the Word of God, provides a model for children and reinforces what is being said in the home.
I remember on New Years Eve when our youngest daughter was still living at home; she was in her early 20’s. Our family tradition was to have plenty of snacks, dips, etc., etc. spread out on the dining room table, being refreshed as the hour of midnight grew closer. That’s what we did every year!
At about 10:00 PM, Kris and some of her friends came in the front door and asked if they could spend the rest of the evening with Dianne and I, to watch the new year to arrive. With somewhat of a surprised look on my face, “Sure come on in. There is plenty of food!” We later put some music on and danced as we usually did in the front room on New Years Eve, showing them all that even older parents could keep up with the younger generation. I think they might even been impressed.
What is my point in telling this story? The next day, our daughter told us her friends enjoyed their time so much with us because of our relationship as husband and wife, mom and dad. They would rather have been at Kris’ house than at a party of ‘booze’ somewhere else on New Year’s Eve. We were setting a “model”, not only for are own children but for others as well. They asked us later if it would be okay to come over on New Year’s Eve next year. “Anytime!”
THE “NATURE OF LOVE”
“And these things (or words) are to be on your heart” (Deuteronomy 6:6).
To “be on your heart” or “to be on your mind” means in the center of your thoughts; the object of your devotion! It means our relationship to God, our obedience to His Word is contrasted to the tablets of stone. It means our relationship is not a mere legal or mechanical one but spiritual and reflective.
LOVE and OBEDIENCE are:
— Spiritual – Not mechanical.
— Central – Not peripheral.
— Primary – Not secondary.
This means we learn to live and think in terms of biblical principles and the realities of God, in everything we do. The word of God becomes the grid, the framework, the foundation for every aspect of life. Remember, you need a foundation first before you build upon it!
— or play
[2 Corinthians 10:4, 5]
WARNINGS AGAINST PARENTS LOSING SIGHT! (Deuteronomy 6:18, 19)
We must never lose sight where we are here; not simply here as earthdwellers pursuing our own selfish goals. We our ‘pilgrims’. Losing sight of the pilgrim mentality is a danger of becoming absorbed with the world. The result being, we fail as parents because we have first failed as God’s children ourselves.
Jonathan Edwards, the son in a godly home. His father was a preacher and before him, his mother’s father. Note the history of the offspring of this godly man:
“More than 400 of them have been traced to 14 college presidents and 100 college professors. A 100 of them ministers of the Gospel, missionaries and theological teachers. 100 of them were lawyers and judges and out of the number, 60 have been doctors and as many more authors of high rank, editors of journals. In fact, almost every conspicuous American industry has had its promoters from one or more of the offspring in the Edwards stock, since the remote ancestor was married in the closing of the seventeenth century.”
I already gave you the first of eight functions of FATHERHOOD; Progenitor. Let me give you now the other 7 functions:
— To be the source.
— To be the sustainer and nourisher.
— To be the protector; you need to investigate all things surrounding the family.
— To be the disciplinarian (Proverbs 19:18; 29:17).
“Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4–Amplified Bible).
1. Use the rod with purpose (Proverbs 22:15; 23:13).
2. If God said it, it must be of value.
3. The rod is designated for foolishness (Proverbs 15:5).
4. Only to be administrated with temperance.
5. Balance is the key to life.
— To be a leader.
— To be a ‘caring’ one.
— To be a developer; a “foundation” builder.
“And you [fathers, parents] shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it might go well with you, and that you may go in and possess the good land” (Deuteronomy 6:18).
Doing “what is right and good in the sight of the Lord” is teaching and modeling God’s Word as fathers and parents. It is the FATHERHOOD principles being practiced every waking moment of the day. God is watching our Pilgrim’s Progress as we travel in the wilderness, so we will “go in and possess the good land”.