These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. —Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Over the years you have picked up a handful of truths, some core values, and a few strategies for surviving this world and thriving in the next. Some you were taught. Most you learned the hard way. All of which you want to pass on to your children.
How does a dad convey these lessons without lecturing or facing a barrage of blank stares or eye rolls? The secret is to deliver those truths a little at a time as life unfolds. Don’t wait for just the right moment or the perfectly planned weekend to transfer all your bits of collected knowledge in a single grandiose and laborious speech.
Instead, gently and consistently “impress them on your children.” Notice that the command isn’t to bash them over the head or shriek into their skulls. It doesn’t say nag, cajole or fume. The word “impress” suggests images of lovingly leaving a permanent, noteworthy imprint or trace. Having made your mark in their life. Almost like an artist signing a fine oil painting.
How? It’s spelled out nicely in the verse. Talk to them during the regular course of life. At the kitchen table. During commercial breaks. Strolling down a dirt road. Tucking them in at night. Chatting over waffles.
Make it an ongoing conversation. Leave ’em wanting more. If a question comes up you can’t answer, that’s okay. They know you’ll weave in and out of their days with fresh insight, thought-provoking follow-up and a listening ear.
What about you?
God wants to talk to you the same way, Dad. Sitting at home. Walking along the road. When you lie down. When you get up. Are you listening?
Adapted from:One-Minute Devotions for Dads. Copyright © 2012 by Jay Payleitner. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.