What It Takes to Remember
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. —Deuteronomy 6:6-8
When our lives are cluttered with distractions, how do we keep what is most important front and center in our hearts and minds? How do we remember the things God wants us to treasure? The answer can partly be found in Deuteronomy 6:8, “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”
God not only gave His people a full set of rules for living, He also gave them instruction about how to remember His words. Deuteronomy 6:1-8 contains the great commandment to love God and offers some practical house rules for teaching family members what God wants them to know.
The context of this passage is God’s law and how it should be the subject of continual meditation, conversation, and obedience. The home was to be a training center for faith in God and the importance of His commands for healthy living, with parents modeling and teaching their children throughout the day.
Unfortunately, over the centuries, the Israelites transformed Deuteronomy 6:8 from a vivid command into a hollow reenactment of God’s truth. Instead of being as signs or as frontlets, snippets of God’s laws had become trinkets worn for show. The symbols had replaced what they were intended to symbolize. Today’s version might be, I love God’s Word—I own fifteen Bibles—but no, I don’t actually read any of them. Or maybe you "do" your devotional, but it doesn't have an impact on your day. Or you go to church, but couldn’t put your finger on any specific issues in your life God is trying to work on.
So what’s the key to remembering what is most important? The verses above illustrate God’s answer: the more integrated spiritual practices become in our daily lives, the less we have to worry about remembering them. If we decide to read the Bible to our kids once each week, we may need some reminders. But if our lifestyle revolves around God’s Word, each day will be filled with teachable moments. We can talk about His provision when we sit down to a meal. We can ask Him to guard our travels together and separately throughout the day. We can lead our children in summarizing their day in prayer as they lie down, and we can be ready to thank the Lord for a new day when we arise.
Remembering what’s most important starts with your own practice of regular exposure to God’s Word and intentional decisions to obey what you read. Those under your roof, and others who are watching, should know God is the central presence in your home by your life. As you help them recognize the Lord and learn how much He cares about daily moments in our lives, you will remember just how much His guidance matters to you, too.
What reminders of God and His Word are visible around your house? How effective are they in helping you remember? What patterns of God-acknowledgement could be improved in your family?
Lord, thank You for all the opportunities in my life that lead me to You. Thank You for Your Word that supplies an inexhaustible trove of lessons for me and those I love. Thank You for the invitation to choose to live out my life in Your presence, allowing Your Word to be a lamp for my feet today and a light for my path into tomorrow. By Your Spirit, please help me remember You throughout this day. In Jesus’ name, amen.