Everything begins and ends with a healthy fear of the Lord. Moses wrote about this very idea in Deuteronomy 6. Many times we jump immediately to Deuteronomy 6:4-9 before we really understand that everything begins with a healthy fear of God. This is the main point of the text and the main point of being a follower of Jesus: everything begins and ends with a healthy fear of the Lord. This is what the author intended for his reader to know at the time it was written, and that also remains true for us today.
What comes from having a healthy fear of God? The answer: wisdom and understanding. Aren’t those two key things that we all desire to have today? We want wisdom to know how to live our lives and point others in the right direction. We desire an understanding of how to raise our children, and how to work in our jobs and profession. We all seek to have wisdom and understanding. I’m reminded of how the world thinks those who have wisdom are to look: lots of gray hair! Yet, this isn’t the picture of Scriptural wisdom. The picture here is a healthy fear of the Lord.
And what are we to do with having a healthy fear of the Lord?
We are to teach it; we are to teach this to everyone. This is why we desire to help, support, and equip you as a parent with the wisdom and understanding you need to raise your children with a biblical worldview and perspective. This is why we know that the bible outlines that the responsibility of leading a child does not fall on the church but on the parents. So, we teach it.
But we just don’t teach it to parents. Parents, we teach it to our children. We teach this to our children, to our grandchildren, and to their children. We teach this to the generations that are before so they may continue teaching it to the coming generations long after we are gone. This is the avenue of discipleship. This is disciple-making at its finest. When parents disciple their children, and then their children disciple their children, and it continues to repeat and multiply.
Moses goes on to give these words: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.” So, we love God with every fiber of our being. It is not only who we are, but everything we desire to be. We desire to know God. We give thanks because of who Jesus is, and the revelation of the knowledge and wisdom that is found in him. And we make this knowledge and wisdom known to the world. The beginning of everything good is a fear of the Lord.
Because of who God is, we do something. We teach our children the meaning of these words and constantly repeat them to them and over them. We talk about these words when we are living our daily lives in front of our kids. We display these words to them so they can see them and follow them.
And the question remains, “Why do we do this?” The answer is simple. We have a healthy fear of who God is and what He alone has accomplished for all of us. We do this not out of obligation but out of obedience. We teach them these things so they don’t fall into the trap of this world. We teach them these things because their hope is not found in beautiful cities, houses full of goods, food and drink that is plentiful, or even out of a circumstance that seemed so dark. But we teach them these things because the Lord is good, and wants to have a relationship with them. We show them the ways of the Lord because he desires to love them and wants to share his grace with them.
Dr. Alex Watkins is the Pastor of Worship and Families at New Friendship Baptist Church in Auburn. You can learn more about parent discipling at foundationsjourney.com.