Law and delight — these are two words seldom seen as companions. You can have the law or you can have fun. Young people excited about God’s laws is not exactly the first thought that comes to mind. Instruction over iPads? I don’t think so.
These comments are both comical and sad.
Because they both ring true. We don’t typically expect our young people to be excited about obeying God. And you can agree there is sadness connected to this fact. So how do we address this? Allow me to suggest one way. You can’t expect your children to delight in God’s direction for life if you it is not something that you also delight in. Jesus says the yoke of bearing his commands is easy. John says God’s commands are not a burden. Is that your life experience? Is living out the commands of God an easy, burden free exercise for you or is it something else? How often does the word “hard” creep its way into our vocabulary when speaking of obedience?
King David had different words than hard or difficult to describe God’s commands. Read again his thoughts in Psalm 119:9-16:
How can a young man stay pure?
By obeying your word.
I have tried hard to find you—
don’t let me wander from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
I praise you, O Lord;
teach me your decrees.
I have recited aloud
all the regulations you have given us.
I have rejoiced in your laws
as much as in riches.
I will study your commandments
and reflect on your ways.
I will delight in your decrees
and not forget your word.
David longs for purity and openness before God. He does not want to wander, so he places the word of God deeply in his heart. He rejoices in God’s directions. He praises God for his instructions. He talks openly about God’s laws. He studies and delights in God’s decrees. He loves the laws of God as much as does the riches of life.
Does this describe your relationship with the word of God?
When your relationship with God’s word is like David’s then it becomes clear how Jesus and John could describe the God’s commands as an easy yoke to bear. This is the way that you want to model your relationship with the Bible to your children. Perhaps it sounds awkward or different to describe having a relationship with a book. However, the Bible is not just any book. It is the very words of Christ, the ultimate word, brought to light by His Holy Spirit. This word is alive! So, relationship is a great way to think about how you view the Bible.
God’s word, his instruction, is something to delight in. Delight is contagious, just as indifference is stifling. Children who delight in the instruction of God most frequently come from parents who have modeled a dynamic, loving relationship with Scripture.
Delight in God’s commands—really!