Deuteronomy 6.6-9 is an interesting passage of Scripture:
"These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
Tie Bible verses to your hands and foreheads? Paint them on the entrance way to your house and at the edges of your driveway? That may sound strange to 21st century ears! But did you know the Pharisees took this stuff quite literally? They came up with little boxes that could hold tiny scripture scrolls, and attached them to headbands to be, literally, atied to their foreheads! No doubt many of them also had verses like Exodus 20.1-3 or Deuteronomy 6.4 placarded above their doorways, too. The problem was that they never seemed to take the scrolls out of the boxes and think about what they said! So we ought not imitate thei Pharisees' hearts … but their intentionality is worth observing. And I think God wants us to be quite intentional about keeping the Bible in the front of our minds, too.
So let me walk through the verses above and suggest some ways we might be more intentional about keeping the Scriptures always with us:
“These words … shall be on your heart.” How do we apply that today? Simple. Memorize the Bible. Otherwise, how will you meditate on it talk about it when you are in the checkout line at Kroger, or stuck in traffic on I-75? We (and our children) should be memorizing Bible verses together so that we will have something meaningful to talk about even when the Bible is not open on our laps. Otherwise, we will resort to mere small talk or general moralisms about God that lack power because they are not rooted in specific Bible truths.
“You 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 up.” Two things to say here: First, let your conversations (with your family, and otherwise) always be seasoned with the word of God—when you are cooking a meal, or driving to school, or sitting at the ballpark. God is everywhere and involved in everything, so we ought to be able to think of and speak about Him at any time.
Secondly, parents in particular ought to have specific, daily times for teaching Scripture to their kids. Every day we ought to read Scripture to our kids, talk about the meaning, sing Scriptural songs, and pray with them. That is what it means to “diligently teach” them. If we are not doing these things, we are missing THE major means for our children’s salvation!
“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” I’m not sure the idea is that we must necessarily do each of these things, literally and exactly … but that we find some practical way to place the written word of God always before our eyes. Some quick ideas: Always take a Bible (and maybe a children’s devotional book) with you on long car trips; post Bible verses around your house, where they are most likely to be seen often—on the bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator door, on your kids’ walls, as a desktop background, etc.; decorate a child’s room with Bible verses; keep a small Bible or testament in your desk, or locker, or purse; invest in some Scripture memory songs on CD. The ideas could be multiple, but the intent is singular: take every opportunity you have to keep the Scriptures always before your eyes (and those of your children), so that you might better know and do what they say!