first things first

The other night, as candlelight flickered on the faces of tired but eager young mothers, my mama reminded us of this passage:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 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 6.5-9

That’s all, she said. What do they need? Not Algebra 2. Not soccer. Not foreign language. Teach them about God.


I needed to hear that. Sometimes, when I’m doing my best at teaching diligently, it seems so…silly. Little children, zoning out. Not sitting still. Me, trying my best. Wondering if they even understand. And sometimes, when I’m doing my best to “talk of them” during the day, a nagging worry whispers, “They’re not listening. They don’t care. Talk about something more interesting.”

But no. I will be diligent. I will be bold. I will teach them about God.


The next morning, early sun illuminates those words as my Bible lies open on the kitchen table. I read again.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…”

So few verses addressed specifically to parents. No chapters detailing which TV shows to allow, or what age is the right age for an iPod. We may wish for that on some days, but what He gives us is far better. Two things:

Teach and talk about the Lord and His ways, yes. But first?

Love Him. With all of your heart. Completely, passionately, eternally.



Let’s love Him. For us. For them.

For Him.

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