“We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to know Greek and Hebrew. We just have to be willing to make sure that God is brought into the home.”
He has encouraging words for parents: it’s not as daunting as it may seem.
“The most often-quoted scripture in the Bible [is] actually in the Old Testament and it’s called the Shema. And Shema in Hebrew just means “to listen.”
The Shema comes out of Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Jim offers a paraphrase:
There is one God.
Love the Lord with all of your heart, mind, body, and soul.
Impress this on your children.
In an Orthodox Jewish home the Shema is quoted every morning and evening.
“In other words, bring God into the presence of the home. And it doesn’t mean that we don’t work within the church structure, but just means we work together. And so I think we’re the primary people who pass it on.”
Jim lists practical ways we might apply this with your children.
• Pray with them.
• Celebrate special occasions, like rites of passage.
• Let them see you living out your faith.
Jim gives an example of what he and his wife used to do. When they were in the car with their children and an emergency vehicle would pass with its lights and sirens blaring, they would all pause and pray. Jim’s wife would lead. Years later, their children have adopted the same practice.
“That’s the kind of simple things that you do to bring about an understanding of God. It’s not the heavy duty conversation; it’s just bringing Him into the presence.”
Jim also instructs us to strive to be people of integrity; in fact the Bible says that the man or woman of integrity walk securely.
“I’m convinced that the mom or dad of integrity who walk securely will have kids who are much more secure in their life and in their faith. Integrity doesn’t mean perfect; it means being authentic, being real. Being willing to be God’s person when you can.”