Raising Godly Children
“Look! There’s a Mustang.” My 9-year-old son pointed a few cars ahead of us on I-75 as we headed from Ohio to Michigan. His body was tensed. He bounced in his seat in excitement. I hated to tell him he was wrong. But the car in question was a Charger. A few minutes later, he perked up in his seat and stuck his finger in front of my face, pointing across the divided highway at the Camaro heading south. “Look! That one’s a Mustang!” Wrong again. This time his shoulders slumped a bit. We sat in silence for a few miles longer before he turned back to me and voiced what was really on his mind—and it wasn’t a game of highway bingo. “Why does Papa want to make everyone into a car genius?” The light went off in my head. He just wanted to impress his grandpa with his car knowledge. He knew how important it was to my dad. I know most women probably can’t confidently correct their son when he’s trying to identify muscle cars at a distance, but I can—because I’m my dad’s daughter. And it was then that another light went off. Are my kid’s eagerly trying to discern spiritual truths because they know how important it is to me? Do they look at a situation, person, or truth and say, “Look! There’s Jesus!” Do they think I’m trying to make them into ‘Jesus geniuses’? And as I was watching the mile markers flash by, pondering this, a scene popped into my head. My dad sitting on the floor of my living room, playing Hot Wheels with my youngest son. He rooted through the pile of cars until he found what he was searching for—a Winter Blue Ford Mustang. He held it up and asked my son, “What is this?” Then he proceeded to teach my 3-year-old how to say Mustang—as if it was a normal everyday thing. They giggled together over the bungled pronunciation until my son finally got it right. This is what Deut 6:7 means. “You shall teach them (God’s words/concepts) diligently to your sons 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.” That’s as easy and difficult as it is. Making God a normal everyday part of playtime, drive time, rest time. Not just Sunday-morning time. Action step: Read Deut 6:4-9. Copy it down. Rewrite it in your own words. How can you apply it today?