Summary: Moses gives parents good counsel on how to make a godly impression on their children.
I took a piece of modeling clay;
And idly molded it one day;
And as my fingers pressed it still,
It moved and yielded to my will.
I came again when days were past;
The piece of clay was hard at last.
The shape I gave it still it bore;
And I could change it nevermore.
I took a piece of living clay;
And gently formed it, day by day.
I molded it with power and art -
A young child’s soft and yielding heart.
I cam again when years were gone;
He was a man I looked upon.
He still that early impress bore;
And I could change him nevermore.
Here in Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Moses speaks about the importance of
parents making a positive impression on their children. If our children are going to be the kind of adults they need to be, then we adults need to be the kind of parents who make a godly impression on their
children. But how does a parent make a godly impression on their child? Moses tells us that which will impress our children will be . . .
1. Godly conviction - v. 6
Before I can be effective in leading my child to claim godly convictions as their own, I must have some of my own.
It is hard to convince my child that they ought to be honest if I am not honest; it is hard to convince my child that they should be hard working if I am lazy; it is hard to convince my child that prayer is important if I do not pray; it is hard to convince my child that the Bible is important if I do not read it; it is hard to convince my child that the church is the world’s greatest institution when I am negligent about attending its services and supporting its work; it is hard to convince my child that my relationship with Jesus is important if I rarely speak of it; and it is hard to lead a child to adopt godly convictions when I have none of my own.
We read in the papers, we hear on the air,
Of killing and stealing, and crime everywhere.
We sigh, and we say, as we notice the trend,
“This young generation! Where will it all end?”
But can we be sure that it’s their fault alone?
That maybe most of it isn’t really our own?
Too much money to spend and too little time;
Too many movies of passion and crime;
Too many books not fit to be read;
Too much evil in what they hear said;
Too many children encouraged to roam,
By too many parents who won’t stay at home.
Kids don’t make the movies and they don’t write the books,
That paint a bright picture of gangsters and crooks.
They don’t make the liquor and they don’t run the bars,
They don’t pass the laws or make high speed cars.
They don’t make the drugs that addle the brain,
It’s all done by older folks greedy for gain.
Thus in so many cases it must be confessed,
The label “delinquent” fits older folks best.
That which will impress our children will be godly conviction on our part as parents.
2. Godly conversation - v. 7b
Just as one’s physical condition is often revealed by the look of one’s tongue; one’s spiritual condition is also often revealed by the use of his tongue.
How do you use your tongue? By speaking profanity? Jerry Clower used to say that profanity is a public proclamation of stupidity. Are you showing your stupidity through your use of profanity?
Do you use your tongue to gossip? Gossip is what may be called “ear pollution.” What goes in one ear and out the other isn’t as bad as that which goes in one ear, gets all mixed up in the mind and then slips out the mouth! Don’t use your tongue to gossip!
Do you use your tongue to discourage? Paul tells us, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” - Ephesians 4:29 (NIV).
Before you give anyone a piece of your mind, you ought to make sure you can get by with what you will have left! Don’t use your tongue to discourage, but to encourage.
Well, how can I make sure that my conversation is godly? By letting the Word of God saturate my speech (Note again verse 7b).
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” - Joshua 1:8 (NIV)