On Headbands and the Writing on My Hands

Today I started a 7 day reading plan on You Version focused on the topic of parenting.  It’s been a struggle lately, so where better to turn than Scripture.  You Version has really great reading plans based on whole Bible reading but also on specific topics if you are looking for God to speak to you on something specific.

The first reading took me to Deuteronomy 6:

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Moses is talking about the Ten Commandments when he speaks of the “words” to be on our hearts.  I don’t know about you, but when I have read this before, I’ve often thought of how to bind them in my children’s hearts more than I think of my own.

The heart is defined as the center of the total personality, especially with reference to intuition, the center of emotion, especially as contrasted to the head as the center of the intellect. When something is bound on our hearts, our speech and conduct, the way we do life overflows from that within us.

When God gave these words to Moses, He already knew of the battle raging within their hearts. The Israelites would struggle with loving their stuff more than He.  He knew they would even love their kids and worship them more than they loved Him. He could see they would have a hard time loving one another.  Their sexual temptations were never a surprise to Him, or their struggle to want what they did not have.  They would wrestle with being content where ever they were…Egypt, the Desert, even in the Land of Promise.

Historically, Jewish people would literally bind something on their hands and have a band or ribbon tied around their foreheads to remind them of these commands.  But metaphorically, God knows we need reminders too.  Reminders that the work of our hands, the way we serve, embrace, and hold our children as well as the perspective by which we see should be infused by this Way being bound in our hearts. They are to be set at the entrances of our homes where we tend to exhibit our worst behavior {when no one else is looking}.  Also on the gates surrounding our homes, creating a safe place to learn how to walk in the way of God so when we go into the world we know  who we are, where we came from and better yet Who we are made of.

Parenting, like everything else we do, should be in response to Who we know God is and what He has done for us.

His grace that saved us. His love which reached us when we were dead in our trespasses.  His mercies, new every morning.  The love that is steadfast and suffers long.  His hope that reminds us of His plan for our lives, you know the ones… the ones to prosper us and not to harm us.  His kindness that leads to repentance.  The security that comes with the promise He will never leave us and He is with us where ever we go.  His love that isn’t easily angered or holds on to records of wrongs.

Perhaps the two chapters are tied up in 5:33

“Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”

Lord, thank you for your infinite grace and mercy, your love that is from everlasting to everlasting.

Help us to walk in your ways today so we can be a life-giving display of your presence among us.

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