As your kids get older, you are on the go more. Whether it’s carpooling, taxiing to extra-curriculars, or
herding hurrying them into the car to meet with the church, we are usually living out the song, “On the Road Again.”
I’ve been asked before how we do “family devotions.” I used to cringe every time I was asked that because I couldn’t give the answer I longed to give. (a.k.a. We gather together every night at the same time with great expectancy, Bibles in hand, deep conversations, a little guitar praise, and a sweet prayer time to end it all. I am literally lol-ing as I type that.) Thankfully, I no longer dread the question because I found great comfort from – gasp! – God.
I kept thinking to myself, “Jesus says His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” Yet, I kept feeling weighed down by all the expectations, and failure was all I could muster. I decided to go in search of how God wanted His children to do life and to grow in Him. Though the Old Testament isn’t a place many go to first for how to live the New Covenant life, it was in the beginning chapters of Deuteronomy that I found my freedom.
4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6, NLT
In the days when Moses wrote this, there were no Gideon Pentateuchs by the Israelites’ sleeping bags. God told them to do life together and talk while doing it AND do it all while committing to and loving Him. Seriously?! You mean I don’t have to wrestle my kids to the ground and tape their mouths shut with duck tape, play instrumental hymns (which I actually do like) in the background, light scented candles, and have a half-hour long “quiet time” with my littles to be considered a “good Christian parent”?!
Let us take a moment to do a happy praise dance…
Okay, but what does it mean? This is not a “Pass Go” card, free of any responsibility where our children’s eternal lives are concerned. This actually requires more than 30 minutes of attempted family Bible study. This, my fellow parents, requires us to give our “all” to Him – “all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” We are freed up to go with our kids wherever we may go, but if we’re going to make the most of those “on the road” moments, we’ve gotta get geared up! (Catch that pun? Feel free to roll your eyes in my honor.) If we’re going to repeat God’s Word (commands) to our kids, if we’re going to talk about them when we’re at home or on the go, we better get to know Him. This Truth could seem like another burden to many who say that they don’t have time to get up and have their own time with God or even to have it before bed without falling asleep. STOP! Please don’t allow another yoke! Instead, I’d like to say this: God’s Word is found all over the place. Turn on your favorite worship songs – worship leaders and Christian song writers (and sometimes secular ones) tend to plagiarize the Bible:). Find a Bible app that will read the Bible to you. Don’t get me wrong, some of these are corny at best and slllllooooowwww at worst, but it’s an option! Find podcasts to play in the car or on your lunch break or during your workout. Shoot! Frequent certain Christian Facebook people/organizations – they usually post something from God’s Word daily. Sorry, friends, we live in an age where we kind of have no excuse to not have more of Him.
When you’re in the car, on your way to wherever, use that song, that scripture, that lesson as an opener to engage your spouse and/or children (or other passengers) in a conversation that’s centered around God. You never know where these conversations will lead. Some could take the whole car trip and pick back up when you load up again; some may last only five minutes. But a little bit of Jesus is more satisfying than a whole lot of anything else!
Mondays and Wednesdays my oldest son has Lego Club at 7 am. This means I wake him up 30 minutes earlier than normal, constantly tell him to “Let’s go!,” and drive him to school in my pajamas while
holding balancing a cup of coffee. These moments with just him are rare; so, I really do try and make the most of them. Today after my normal “don’t forget’s” I felt compelled to remind him of something:
Christopher, no matter what anyone says about you, don’t ever forget that God likes who you are. God made you the way He wanted you. Though He’s never done working on us here, it doesn’t mean He is disappointed in who we are. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like who you are isn’t good enough or right. I’ve spent my entire life thinking those kinds of thoughts, and I’m just now learning to combat them with the Truth. I don’t want you to be almost 34 and just then walking with confidence in Him. WHO YOU ARE IS WHO HE WANTS YOU TO BE! Our imperfect selves, surrendered to Him and His sanctification (Him working in us to make us like Christ) is EXACTLY who he wants us to be! Love you Christopher. Have a great day!
Simple. Five minutes (that’s all the drive takes). Not preachy (this time). Actually didn’t quote scripture or references – just overflowed from the many times I’ve studied scriptures like Psalm 139. This time it didn’t even require him to answer questions, though I did make sure he nodded in understanding and agreement. I need my kids to walk into their days knowing they have God and me on their side. That He is with them. That His Truth defeats every lie thrown at them. I need them to know the difference between His Truth and the lies! Ahhh…more for another time.
Anyway, Deuteronomy 6 It, Friends! Now, have to get ready to get on the road again.