Over lunch with a radio talk show host last week, I was enlightened. I ordered fish tacos and he ordered fried shrimp. When our meals arrived, he did something strange; he moved his little dish of cocktail sauce out of his plate and squirted some ketchup in its place! Who does that?
I had to ask.
He said when he was a child, that’s the way him mom served shrimp. Since that’s the way he was brought up, that’s the way he eats them now.
He looked at me with a question mark on his face.
I chuckled because, it was a great example of the influence of the home. What we do at home will shape our children’s spiritual lives even as it shapes our taste buds.
We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.
He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.
I have to remind myself that what I’m doing now with our children is not only impacting them; it’s also impacting their children, too. We are influencing our grandchildren; future generations. Our children can pass the love and trust of the Lord onto their children and their children’s children.
Whatever we choose to dip our shrimp into doesn’t matter, but the way we spend our time connecting our children’s hearts towards God’s can have an eternal difference. The habits we instill in our children while they are at home will carry on long after we are gone.
Pray together as a family. Read the Word together and tell your children the “praiseworthy deeds of the Lord…Then they [will] put their trust in God and [will] not forget his deeds but [will] keep his commands.”
Discussion Questions for parents and small groups:
When do you share with your children the “praiseworthy deeds of the Lord?”
How are you developing spiritual habits in your home?
What is a habit you are going to start?
When is the best time to pray together as a family?
Find someone to share this with, so they can ask you about it.