It doesn’t matter if I am walking through the desert trying to find the Promised Land or if it is June 2014 in humid East Tennessee, Moses’ words for motherhood ring true still. Deuteronomy 6: 4-8 clearly encourages me how to spend time with my children and how to make these next two months more than just summer, but an Abundant Summer.
Hear O Israel! The Lord is our GOd, the Lord is one! And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your should and with all your might. And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them 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.
In these verses we see three ways to Biblically teach our children:
1. Informal Teaching
2. Formal Education
Probably what I love the MOST about Summer is the time we are allowed to make spiritual investments in the hearts of our kids. The school year is so busy that I feel there are more withdrawals than deposits. Do you feel that way, too? But Moses’ words give us a blueprint for what we can be doing each and everyday to make an eternal impact on our children.
We are called as parents to share God’s love and His law as we sit in our home, walk by the way, lie down and rise up. This pretty much covers dawn to dusk. But of all the ways I am to instruct my little offspring, the part that seems to be the most difficult around here is the sitting part. Yeah, we don’t sit much around this house.
Do you know what “sit” means in the original Greek? ….
Sit: [Yashab] verb. To sit down.
Yeah. No guess work there. No hidden meaning. JUST SIT DOWN WITH YOUR KIDS, BECKY.
We sit down to eat at dinner. Most of the time. But honestly, breakfast and lunch, I am standing in the kitchen cleaning up or making my own meal while my children are eating. I rarely just intentionally Yashab with my boys.
Do you Yashab? 🙂
Think with me. When was the last time you sat in your house with your kids? Not in the van or waiting for your turn at the barber. Moses specifically tells us where to sit … in our house.
And I am just going to say it – the TV doesn’t count.
Sitting is one thing an Abundant Summer is made of… The school year allows us little to no time to sit and build a puzzle with our kids at 1:00 in the afternoon. Or drink a cold glass of lemonade on the porch.
Our Lord Jesus shows us the importance of sitting down for discipleship and fellowship. John 8:2 even shows us that Jesus went into the temple courts, and had all the people gathered around him, and there “he sat down to teach them.”
The “sitting mom” gives opportunity for informal teaching to occur.
It is in the sitting that we can ask about the swords (ahem, sticks) the boys found in the yard..and how creative it thought of them to duct tape the end and create a handle. And then take it a step further…. look how important swords are in Scripture – God calls the Bible our Sword! His Word is our defense in the life! (informal teaching)
It is in the sitting that we can ask about the butterfly your daughter saw before lunch. And how amazing that butterflies transform from a caterpillar into something so beautiful – just like God makes our lives so beautiful when before we were ugly in our sin. (informal teaching)
It is in the sitting that we can ask about swim practice and how they felt about their laps. We can then encourage them and tell them how exciting it is to see Philippians 4:13 play out. They can do all things through Christ who strengthens them… even swimming 100 meters. (informal teaching)
It only takes a second. Yashab. To sit down.
This is a challenge to myself. And an encouragement to you…. Let us be parents who sit this summer and embrace every opportunity for that informal instruction that Moses mentions in Deuteronomy 6.
Abundant Summer Challenge: See how many opportunities today you can find for informal instruction. I bet you will find one around every single corner! At some point today, sit down with your child. Enjoy a cookie or color a picture. I am betting five minutes might turn into fifteen before you can say Yashab 😉
Share your Abundant Summer stories below and, hey, be on the lookout for a giveaway Friday!
(post inspired by Sanity in the Summertime by Linda Dillow & Claudia Arp)