“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 6:7
The grand assumption in this verse is that you will spend time with your children! Ah, time, that fleeting, clock-struck reality.
One of the gifts that Youth for Christ offers to this generation is time with them. But time is really not the most valuable gift we can give. Listening is. Listening is “time plugged in”! Vs. 7 says to “talk” about the commandments that the Lord has given us. “Talk” means to enter into conversation. It’s not just telling; it’s dialogue. Any YFC staff will tell you that the most exhilarating ministry moments are when teenagers start to talk about Scripture, about who God is to them, about what He did in and through them lately. Then there is a sweet synergy, a symphony of Holy Spirit celebration that infuses the entire exchange.
I also love this verse because it impresses upon us the need to make spirituality seamless, just like the garment of Christ bartered for at the foot of the Cross. The Roman soldiers didn’t want to tear it up because it was too valuable as one solid piece of cloth. Our discipleship journeys with teenagers should also be seamless – not compartmentalised into Bible Study hour, Club time or Youth Camp. Our love for God is too precious to silo. Our lives are to be steeped in Scripture, saturated with the Word of God, strung together with the promises of God – when we are at home, when we are out for walks, when dusk approaches or dawn awakens.
I will never forget standing in the hallway of the International School in Caracas, Venezuela with a few teenagers from the YFC Youth Group. They were bemoaning the fact that in the next period loomed a math exam. I said, “Let’s pray about that.” To which they responded, looking around to see who was watching, “Right here? Right now?” I said, “Sure. The Bible says to pray without ceasing so it must mean that we can literally talk to God anywhere, anytime.” We bowed our heads and each of us prayed, right there, right then. Lesson learned.