Initially, God wrote his instructions for living on stone tablets, and he entrusted them to Moses.
If we weren’t talking about God, I might think this was a foolish decision because Moses had a bad temper, and straight away broke the tablets the instructions were written on in a fit of anger. (See entire account in Exodus Ch 32-34)
Personally, I would have not wanted to be the one to have to go back to God and tell him I had a come apart and broke the tablets. But what choice did he have, really? It was the only copy and there was no printing off another in those days.
What was made perfectly clear through that situation was that those laws could be lost. God knew from the get go that they would serve only to show us how much we needed his instructions alive within us, not written on a tablet of stone, but written on our hearts.
Earlier in my husband’s ministry career, I found myself leading in children’s ministry. Historically, our experience had been that dealing with kids in church was considered more a necessary evil than a ministry worthy of real investment. With four kids of my own, I knew their capacity to learn and understand things qualified them for a greater investment by the church. So I wrote curriculum, attended children’s ministry conferences, and read books put out by other adults who had the same heart for kid’s ministry that I did. I wanted to produce a product worthy of my kids, and other people’s kids, too.
Doing so fueled a desire to plant God’s word in the hearts of children. I wanted to hide it there, because the heart holds onto information. Get information into the mind and it can be forgotten, get it into the heart and it is there for a lifetime. (Hebrews 8:10)
I began teaching my young kids scripture in song. Scripture written to catchy, fun music. One song in particular was one that taught the Fruits of the Spirit from Galations 5:22-23. My oldest son is now twenty. I just asked him to list for me the fruits of the spirit, and he sang me the song… every word.
Parents often ask me how to ensure that their kids grow up “right”. My answer is to plant the word of God in their hearts. Just take the Fruits of the Spirit for example… If these verses are firmly planted in their hearts, the results are incredible.
Love: Love for God, love for themselves, and love for others.
Joy: Where happiness is temporal and dependent on circumstances, Joy is constant despite circumstances.
Peace: Finding peace in the storms of life only comes when we find God’s peace.
Patience: Having patience to wait upon the Lord in this world of instant gratification is a blessing.
Kindness: We all want to see our kids show kindness towards all, especially others who are less fortunate or in need.
Goodness: We hope to see our kids investing their time in good pursuits.
Faithfulness: In a world where people bail on commitments, it would be good to raise kids who remain faithful to them.
Gentleness: In their actions and reactions, gentleness will serve them and others well.
Self Control: Fighting self-gratification, and learning not to make impulsive decisions, or fly off the handle in a tough situation, is a measure of real character.
We love our kids, sacrifice for them, provide for them, worry over them, teach them manners like not talking with food in their mouths, and saying “please” and “thank you”. We teach them obedience, make them go to school and do their homework, and correct them when they stray.
We do our best to raise them “right”. Yet, all of that is just a dog and pony show if we don’t also plant God’s word in their hearts. Without the anchor of the truths of God’s word in their hearts, they have nothing to hold them secure when life comes at them hard. And it will. Won’t it?
Can it all come down to a silly song?
Yes it can. Here’s some resources for younger kids to get you started raising those kids right…