What The Bible Says About Connectedness
by Dannah Gresh
A lot of people rightly point to a passage in Deuteronomy to affirm the concept of parent-child connectedness. Deuteronomy 11:18-19 reads,
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds, tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
This passage encourages you and me as moms to know God’s value system as written in his Word and to then spend connecting time—sitting at home and walking in the way—impressing them onto our children’s hearts. It’s probably the most direct biblical encouragement to connect as a means of teaching values.
But I’d like to direct you to a different passage as our core verse for this book. It’d be a good one to memorize and take to heart, especially considering the specific meaning I’m going to share with you. Proverbs 22:6 reads:
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
The Hebrew word for “way” puts connectedness in a whole new light. You’ll never parent the same again once you see this. At first glance, it’s easy to see that God is affirming “the way” that is right for us to follow in general. And that is correct, because the word “train” is the Hebrew word hanak and would be best translated “dedicate.” This indicates that our children are to be dedicated to God and his ways. But there is a deeper treasure hidden in this verse for us.
The Hebrew word for “way” used in this verse was derek. Literally, it means “my way” or “bent.” It was a Hebrew marksman’s term. Hunters or soldiers of that day and age did not receive a standard-issue bow and arrow with wires and buttons to adjust the bow to the man. Rather, each marksman went out and found his own piece of wood and crafted it carefully into a bow. Since each bow was made of different kinds of wood with varying strength and levels of moisture, it was likely that it took hours—days—to actually learn the unique “bent,” or tendency, of the wood so a marksman could be accurate with it. The word derek refers to the process of learning the wood.
What I think God is saying to you and to me is this: “I’ve got a specific way I’d like you to dedicate your child to follow, but to be successful you’ve got to know the unique strengths and qualities of your child. And by the way, that’ll take some time. So plan on investing it. Remember what I said about ‘sitting in the house’ and ‘walking in the road.’ It’s going to take a lot of that.”
What a task we have as parents.
Not only do we need to know and absorb God’s moral value system, but we’ve got to be students of our children—learning their unique “bent” so we can impart God’s values in creative ways that will impact each child according to his or her unique differences.
Taken from: Six Ways to Keep the “Little” in Your Girl. Copyright © 2010 by Dannah Gresh. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.