[from May 9, 2013]
"Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise."
One of the most seminal passages in all of the Hebrew Bible (aka "Old Testament"), at least to our Jewish brothers & sisters, is Deuteronomy 6:4-5. It's called "The Shema," after the first word in that passage: shema ("hear!"). The text says, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the LORD your God will all your heart... and soul... and might."
But what comes immediately after really spoke to me this morning. Verse 7 reminds (commands!) the people to talk to their children about this important verse. ALL... THE... TIME! Literally. At home, away, before bed at night, first thing in the morning. Our role as parents is to talk to our kids about God and our need to love Him completely. We're to do this all the time. Deuteronomy doesn't suggest we allow kids to "choose for themselves" whether or not they want to follow the God we've given our lives to (at least not in their formative years). It says to TEACH them. Early & often. We don't give kids the option to "choose for themselves" whether or not they want to go to school. We take them because it's vital to their development as people. It's the same with faith.
Yah, it's that important.