“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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. 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 6:4-9).
God wanted his uncommon words to be ubiquitous within his people’s lives. Everywhere they went they were greeted with reminders of the nature of God and what he expected of his creation.
We are a forgetful and selfish lot. When we choose ourselves over God, we forget our Creator (Deuteronomy 6:12; 8:11), his power (Deuteronomy 4:9), and his covenant (Deuteronomy 4:23). We need reminders to keep us mindful.
What would a Jewish home have looked like during the days of Joshua, or Hezekiah, or Zechariah? What would the life of a faithful couple revolve around? What would they have taught their children?
Certainly our homes need not be replicas of those who lived long ago. But thoughts of long ago should humble us, just as the Law and the Prophets humble us in our faithful pursuit of God’s grace.
While we are under a higher covenant than the one Jehovah made with the descendants of Jacob, that “old” covenant still serves a valuable purpose in instructing us (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11). While the specifics have changed, God still expects us to approach him through faith (Romans 4:16; 9:30-33). And as recipients of a new, more glorious covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6-12), we are under greater obligation.
What will be the foundation of my home? What will my children see as central to our very being?
This is not done with physical iconography. We don’t demonstrate our faithfulness with crosses on the wall. Rather, it is through diligently living out the words of Christ on a daily basis. When we daily open God’s word to our children, when we daily speak reverently of our God, when we daily concern ourselves with others, we show our children (and anyone who enters our home) that God is at the center of everything.
God knows that where our treasure is, there our heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). Our children know what we treasure; thus, they know where our hearts are. Our homes need not be fancy, but they must be filled with the One who fills all in all.
From politics to sports, from music to money, from safety to success, that which lives in our hearts is written on our doorposts.
What is on your doorposts?