Going Public

A common restaurant. A simple meal. A cryptic card. Some amazing news.

It’s been more than 16 years, but that evening is still vivid. It was centered on a dinner-out with my folks. After being seated, we exchanged pleasantries and ordered our meal. When a gap opened in our chit-chat, my wife handed my mother a card. On the front of the card was a cartoonish drawing of an oven with a loaf of bread baking. Written inside the card were six words: “There’s a bun in the oven.” My mom looked at the card, opened it, read it, and looked back at us. We grinned expectantly. She returned her gaze to the card.

With mom confuzzled (a term coined by my children), dad watched and read over her shoulder. A grin grew on his face that betrayed his understanding of what the card communicated. Mom sat quietly, scrutinizing the card. Perplexed. My wife and I were working hard to contain our giddiness. The card was a harbinger of wonderfulness – and we were ready to burst.

After several seconds of awkward silence, the newly crowned grandpa stepped-in to illuminate grandma – who had yet to realize her new moniker. “There’s a bun in the oven…they’re having a baby!” dad proclaimed. Mom’s countenance morphed from confusion to joy. Anxiety fled as relief and celebration washed over our little table. We laughed and hugged and began the requisite talk of the due date, it’s proximity to family birthdays, and painting the baby’s room.

This story of our announcement is a fitting way to close the mini-series on this blog about parenting. We’ve dug into Deuteronomy 6:7-9 and pulled-out some key words. So far, we’ve unpacked ‘teach’, ‘talk’ and ‘bind’. We’ll conclude with the verb ‘write’.

One more time, here’s the bit of Scripture we’ve been looking at:

“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. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
(Deuteronomy 6:7–9, ESV)

Without being overly prescriptive, these verses offer broad and deep instruction to parents. Teaching, talking, sitting, walking, rising, laying, binding and writing. These verses are loaded. Households saturated by the things of God foster words, thoughts, actions and attitudes flavored with grace, truth and love. Deuteronomy 6 is an invitation to experience the God of the Bible to the fullest. To know more of His decrees and desires. His love and grace. His timeless truth. His character. His redemption. His restoration. Our salvation.

The startling news of who God is and what He’s done demands expression. Life with Jesus is more wonderful than our best day at the office, a fantastic 10-days in the Caribbean, or even the news of pregnancy. God is life – eternal life. And in his gracious generosity He has stooped down to rescue us. That is the news of history.

That news demands families of God go public. Deuteronomy 6:9 says we are to write the Words of God, “on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” I’m not proposing that we write “God’s #1” or “Got God?” on our garage doors. But the spirit of this imperative does imply that our trust in God should be apparent. Our households are to be beacons of redemptive light to friends, neighbors, coworkers, sports teams, music and theater groups and the lady at the checkout. Our lives and homes should emanate with the sweet aroma of Jesus Christ.

I’m challenged by this command to ‘write’. It can be risky. We live in a world filled with good, and evil. Many aren’t friendly to the Bible’s message. But that mustn’t hinder our expression. We are here to make God famous. Life is about Him, not us. We are called to pray, act, and speak the truth about the life and message of Jesus. He gave us everything – the least we can do is tell everyone about it.

May the following quote inflame our collective desire to write God’s truth upon our households and be active in our proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ:

“If sinners be damned at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”
– C.H. Spurgeon