Living The Faith
Listen Israel: Yahweh our God is the one Yahweh,
You shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength.
Let these words I urge on you today be written on your heart.
You shall repeat them to your children and say them over to them whether at rest in your house or walking abroad, at your lying down or at your rising;
you shall fasten them on your hand as a sign and on your forehead as a circlet;
you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates
We see from this passage that God wants us to have a loving relationship with him. He wants us to relate to him with love. I grew up being taught the traditional teachings of the Church. And so as I grew up, I looked at God as someone watching whatever wrong move I do - waiting to punish me. And believe me, this relationship with the Lord is unhealthy and makes the relationship more of a burden than something joyful.
Many people say that the God of the Old Testament is a stern God. But this proves them wrong. Even at the start, God showed us that he is a loving God. He wants to love us and he wants us to love him. This is why Jesus said that this is the most important commandment.
Indeed, loving God is the goal of our lives. To stress how important this is, Yahweh told his people to write them in their hearts - to live this in their lives. They have to live it always. The reason for this is that this is the only way to pass their faith to their children. We do not pass our faith to our children through religion classes in school or going to church on Sundays or going to prayer meetings once a week. We pass our faith to our children by living it.
There is an old saying, little cups have big ears. Well, little children not only have big ears, they have big eyes too! And they pick up more of what they see than what they hear. If we show our faith one hour a week, then this will also be the faith of our children. God in his wisdom knew that children follow what their parents do. So if we want to pass our faith to the children, we have to live our faith.
Faith is learned at home. We pass our faith by talking to the children about it at home. We pass it on by talking about it even when we are travelling. We talk about it before going to sleep and when we wake up. We have to always talk to our children about our faith. Because if we do not do so, someone else will talk to them about their faith and with a lot of philosophies floating around, your children would not be able to know what the truth really is.
Living our faith means to remember it while we are working (fasten them on your hand), while we are thinking (on your forehead) and when we step out of our home. We have to be conscious of this commandment always. Because if we love God, then love of neighbour will follow.
May we then obey the Lord in his command - to love him AND to pass this love for the Lord to our children.