Conversations With My Grandfather

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papa 2One of my favorite places to be as a kid was in a 1978 Chevy Truck with my Grandfather. It didn’t matter where we were going.  Many times we were pulling a boat to the lake.  Other times he was dragging my brother and me with him to the railroad yard where he worked.  Regardless of where we were going, it was the time in his truck that I remember.

I loved asking him questions. Questions about the Korean War, questions about the country music stars he had played with, questions about faith, questions about life, questions about nothing at all.  Without a doubt, these conversations had a profound impact on my life.

Deuteronomy 6 is an oft-quoted passage of many family advocates, and rightly so.  Verses six through nine of this dynamic chapter challenge the families of Israel as to how the wonderful book of the law should be used:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 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 6:4-9, ESV

Did you catch that? Right in the middle of this passage describes “when” we should have these conversations with our kids. “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.”  TRANSLATION: During everyday life!

There are things that every one of us do each day of our lives that we can use to teach key life principles to our children. These events move beyond regular family devotions to what many call “devotions in motion.” Even mundane activities like walking the dog, washing dishes, or driving to football practice can be used to share timeless biblical truth and principles….simply by having conversations with our kids.

Papa 1

As I further reflect on these conversations, and their role in forming the hearts and minds of my two boys, I cannot help but see the connection with our Heavenly Father. How much more should our conversations with Him mold and shape our hearts ? As we pray and read His Word, He speaks to us. In a sense, He is sharing Himself, His thoughts, His will, and His values with us….a powerful conversation!

As a dad now, I know that the conversations I have with my two sons will have a lasting impact on them as they continue to grow up. They will help shape and mold their hearts and minds, just as the conversations with my Grandfather did for me.