“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 bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9
Those words have been on my heart since my baby girl was born last year. The weight of the task before me is very palpable. The charge that these verses from Deuteronomy gives parents is no small thing. Teaching my little girl to love the Lord her God with all her heart, soul, and mind is a huge responsibility, and it scares the crap out of me.
I look at this picture and I can’t help but think that what I’m charged to do is very much akin to what I’m doing in this moment caught in time. I’m supposed to walk beside her, holding her hand, until she’s sure enough of her steps to take them on her own. Will she fall down? Most assuredly. But she’ll also learn to run.
As she grows up, her mom and I will do our best to talk to her about God the Father, Who so loved us that He sent His One and only Son to come to this earth, live a perfect life, and die for our sins, all so we could know Him and love Him for eternity. I will tell her that very same God created her, and that He has a plan for her. It is a plan to give her a hope and a future (Jer. 29:11). And it’s an awesome plan! It’s about life lived to the fullest for Him and through Him. I will tell her how He sent his Spirit to dwell within all who believe in Him, to guide them and direct them.
And I hope that I’ll show her His grace in myriad ways, every day of her life. I hope I show it in how I deal with her, her mom, and everyone I meet. For I’m just a sinner saved by grace, no better and no worse than anyone else. Yet I’m saved by His grace, and I pray that she sees a life lived in light of that grace when she looks at her dad.
Yeah, I’m going to hold her hand as long as I can. And one day, when I have to let her run on her own, I will take solace in these words from Proverbs 22:6
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”
God, give me the wisdom to train her well.