Referring to the commandments of God, Deuteronomy 6:7 says, “Impress them on your children.” To impress requires effort, pressure, and sometimes, even force. The softer the material on which the impression is to be made, the less pressure is needed. The minds of children are like soft material when they are born, but that softness soon morphs into something very hard. Proverbs 22:6 admonishes, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
An impression is the result of two actions. One is exclusion, and the other is inclusion. In order to make an impression, there must be focus. When the image in a picture is out of focus, it is blurred, and can make neither a good nor bad impression. The photographer must, if necessary, blur competing and distracting surroundings and acquire razor-sharp concentration on what he wants to be the focus of the picture.
To make straight “A”s at school, the student must focus on studies, and exclude parties and other distractions. There are many distractions that compete for the focus of a child’s mind and thoughts. Parents and grand-parents, many of whom are parents by default, must take responsibility for “starting children off on the way they should go.” Some Christian parents and grand-parents are too permissive, and figuratively “promiscuous”, when it comes to the things to which we expose our children. There is little screening of TV programs, internet sites and close friends. Harry Potter is not harmless. It must be called out as being evil and diabolic… and so are many other competing distractions.
But to exclude the unwanted is not enough. We must include and positively reinforce what we desire to impress on our minds and those of our children. Energy, effort, dedication, and sometimes even a little bit of force are required to ensure that the impression is deep enough to last a life-time. Verses 7-9 gives us a broad range of approaches that are necessary to ensure that God’s Word is impressed on our minds, and those of our children. All the listed methods were interpreted literally. We may want to adopt a more figurative interpretation. But get the job done and don’t miss or mess up the message.
The result is that, of Timothy it could be said in 2 Timothy 3:15, “ …from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” At 103 not-out, my mother testifies to the saving, keeping power of Jesus to whom she was introduced as a child. Her anthem remains “To God be the Glory”. I have communicated your greetings to her and she sends her love to my ODB family.
Remember to visit RBC’s Our Daily Bread Devotional today at www.ODB.org