I’ve been chewing on these verse for a few weeks now. Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
NIV words it like this:
“Here O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
The Amplified Version says it like this:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord [The only Lord]. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might. And these words I am commanding you this day shall be [first] in your [own] minds and hearts; then you shall whet and sharpen them so as to make them penetrate and teach and impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of 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 up. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets (forehead bands) between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
The NLT expresses it like this:
“Listen O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourself wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on the gates.”
I think the part I keep chewing on is the line “Impress them on your children.”
“Impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children.”
“Repeat them again and again to your children.”
What does it look like to impress truths on the lives of tiny humans?
I don’t have children of my own. So I am not quite sure why I am hung up on this like I am, but I can’t be past this idea of “impressing” truth on children.
A couple things strike me about impressions. First of all, you have to be close to make an impression. You have to be rubbing elbows, living in close quarters, intentional about the time you are together. Like a handprint in cement, it takes time and pressure to leave a mark. Like a place you are constantly rubbing up against. Like a seat that’s been molded to you, or a bed that fits you.
Consistency, pressure and time – it leaves an impression.
So the question becomes, how do I do that with my life? How do I make sure my life is leaving an impression.
Does the way I live rub up against the children in my life in a way that makes an impression?
Am I loving the Lord in a way that leaves a mark on those around me?
Am I living out His truth with consistency and pressure – in such a way that every tiny groove would be evident after a while?
Another thing that strikes me about impressions is that an impression is evidence that someone else was there.
An impression is proof of the existence of something else.
Which I guess means that we can ask the question, is your walk with the Lord and love of the Lord rubbing off on others as evidence that you were there?
Deuteronomy goes on to give ideas of how to do this “impress” thing: talking about the word all the time, leaving reminders of scripture on our person, and writing it everywhere we can.
I was reminded recently that the Bible says that scripture is a double edge sword and that it has the power to pierce. (Hebrews 4:12) Which means that as I leave post-it notes of scripture all over my house and frame verses, I am fortifying the walls of my home with swords. It means that when I buy jewelry with scripture, or write a verse on my hand, I am guarding and girding my person with swords. It means that as I read them and write them and say them aloud, I am re-enforcing words that have the power of a sword to cut straight to my heart.
Talk about leaving an impression.
Live up close. With consistency, pressure and intention.
Plaster scripture all over your life.
Let’s live in a way that proves our deep love of the Lord.
Let’s live in a way that leaves a mark.