I love the rules. Maybe not for the right reason, but I love the rules. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Out of all the things Jesus could have said, He says the first and greatest rule is to love God with all you are, with everything you have.
This commandment can be found in Deuteronomy 6, and the LORD tells the Israelites to teach this commandment to their children. There is so much to teach your kids…how to read, how to tie their shoe, etc. But this cannot be overlooked, and it is of the greatest value if Jesus calls it the first and greatest commandment.
I want to encourage you to teach your children this commandment. Teach them what it looks like to honor and obey God by loving Him with all they are. But do not lose the gospel while doing so.
As you teach your kids how to honor the LORD, remind them of their need for Jesus. Perfect love toward God is impossible. Not because He is unlovable, but because we are wicked and depraved. We have hearts sick with sin. Apart from the person and work of Jesus, we cannot love Him rightly. And our love of created things rather than the Creator keeps us from intimately knowing the Father. Let them see that they are in need of forgiveness because they have not loved. Let them see that God meets that need in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Let them see that even those who belong to God still need Jesus’ help to obey and love like God has called us to.
So, today begin asking yourself and your kids these questions:
- How do I love God with my thoughts?
- How do I love God with my time?
- How do I love God with my speech?
- How to I love God when I am alone?
- How do I love God when I am with my friends? Family? Enemies?
As you call your children to obey and love God with all that they are, point them to the hope of Jesus. As a family ask God for the ability to love Him as He ought to be loved. He is our example and our source of help. I pray that we would strive to love Him well, and as we strive I pray we would grow in awareness of our need for Jesus.