“Shema, O Teachers and Parents…”

“Hear O Israel…” That’s the way the famous “Shema” passage begins in Deuteronomy 6:4.  “Shema” is the Hebrew word that means ‘hear,’ ‘listen,’ or ‘obey.’ So after Moses tells the people of Israel “Shema (hear),” he then goes on to pen one of the most well know portions of Scripture:

The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  – Deut. 6:4-6

This passage has been one of the most important theological and doctrinal passages for believers since Christianity began, but more than that, these are significant verses revealing who God is and how we as His people are to relate to Him.  This passage tells us that we are to love Him with all our heart, soul and might and to keep the words that He commanded us on our heart.  But thankfully, God didn’t just command that we love Him, He also revealed what it means to love Him with all of our heart, soul and might.  In verse 7, it says,

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 whey you lie down, and when you rise.

Teach Diligently O Teachers and Parents…

“Teach them (God’s words) diligently to your children.” That is one of the ways we love the Lord with all our heart, soul and might. So, even though teaching children has its challenges as you routinely tell them to “Listen up (shema), please. Obey (shema), please,” we need to remember that God has called out to us saying, “Shema (listen up), Greg. Shema (obey), Greg. Shema (hear) O Greg that the Lord is one…love Me with all your heart, soul and might by teaching my children diligently about Me and My commands.”

So, I pray that every time we prepare to teach the kids God has entrusted to Faith Church, and every time we teach our biological children, we would remember that the act of teaching them is in itself one of the ways we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and might.

Here are a few practical suggestions to help teach our children diligently:

  • Shema (hear) from the Lord every day by spending time in His Word.
  • Read over the class curriculum and associated Bible passages multiple times before teaching a lesson.
  • Talk about the lesson/curriculum/passage with others (v.7 – when you sit…when you walk…when you lie down…when you rise).
  • As a parent, visit the Faith Kids Connection for helpful follow-up on what your kids learned in Sunday School.
  • Seek out teachers and parents who have been doing this well for years and ask for help.
Greg Wetterlin
Pastor of Men's Ministries at Faith Church. Blessed to be married to the woman of my dreams in order to serve the Savior we both are unworthy to have.