Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Psalms 119:9 – 16 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.
Children’s minds are amazing. Their capacity to memorize is incredible. I see it continually in my grandchildren. After just one or two readings of a book they can recite whole sections of it. I love to test their memories. From the time they were old enough to talk I would sit them on my lap with a familiar book, and while reading I would intentionally leave out a word – any word. They would immediately correct me. Children have a marvelous capacity for memorization.
Because of that we must consider what we are feeding into their minds. Just as they memorize the words of a book and their context for usage, so they are memorizing the scripts of television shows and movies and forming contextual philosophies for usage. Their behavior is being shaped by what they are learning. As their parents and grandparents, we have the incredible privilege as God’s stewards of their young lives to mold them into people of moral purity. We have the right and more importantly the responsibility to regulate the input into their minds.
Most, if not all of us, deeply desire that our offspring grow up to be committed followers of Jesus Christ. It would be the highlight of being a grandparent for me to have each of those grandkids come to me at some point and ask, “Grandpa, how can I keep myself pure and live for Jesus alone?” It brings tears to my eyes now as I think about that. But for that to happen, there must be from within them a deep desire to want to be pure before the Lord. Where will that desire come from if not from the mentoring and modeling of their parents and grandparents? It is our primary responsibility. The desires of their heart are naturally wicked as declared by Jeremiah when he says, The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Every tendency they have will be to fulfill the desires of their flesh. What we allow them to see and learn from us is what they will imitate. It is not sufficient to hand them over to the Children’s Ministries of your church and hope they will be able to show them the way. It is not wise to simply read them a Bible story or hand them a Bible story book so they can read it before they go to bed each night. It is imperative that they see those truths being lived out each day in our own lives.
When I was a little boy, Scripture memorization was highly regarded in our church. It was not just an exercise, but it was enthusiastically pursued by parents and teachers alike. I can still remember large passages of God’s Word that were required memory verses in every class we attended. One of them was this portion of Psalm 119. You probably learned it too. If you’re over 40 the chances are you learned it in the King James Version, so repeat with me – “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.”
Now ask yourself this – “Is that happening?” Does the Word of God still hold such a treasured place in your heart that it keeps you from sinning against God? Are you the mentor and model of moral purity that your children and grandchildren want to see and imitate? Maybe it’s time for each of us to evaluate our deep desire to keep our way pure before God. This is the day we should re-commit to living our lives according to God’s Word and to seek Him with all our heart. Today is the day to begin hiding God’s Word in our heart so that we might not sin against Him. Then tomorrow might be the day that your child or grandchild approaches you and asks how they can live for God like you do.