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Fatherhood Lessons from Deuteronomy 6

Jeremy:
So you’ve probably heard a lot about Deuteronomy 6. There’s a lot there about family that we’d like to talk about. It’s what Jesus called the greatest commandment when he was asked, which is which of the commandments is the greatest. And the way that we typically read that is, “Love the Lord your God, with all of your soul, with all your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your strength,” is Deuteronomy 6:5. And recently I was reading this verse in a translation called the Complete Jewish Bible. This is by David Stern. And basically what he’s trying to do in this translation is find out areas where a typical English speaker might just come to the wrong conclusion, particularly about the Hebrew, right? And so he translated the greatest commandment, “Love Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your resources.”

And I thought, “Oh yes, that makes a lot of sense,” because when I think about love the Lord with all your strength, I really think about he’s talking about maybe energy, something physical like that’s what always comes to my mind.

Jeff:
Grit.

Jeremy:
Yeah. But when he said all your resources, he’s trying to say the way a Hebrew reader would have interpreted that Hebrew word for strength, they would’ve thought about their muchness or all the stuff that helps them exert any level of power on the world. And they primarily sort of saw that through the lens of their resources, which is interesting because that is primarily a family … that turns us this element of the great commandment kind of more into a family command if that makes sense. When I think about loving Lord with all of your heart, I feel like maybe individual or with all of your soul, right? That feels pretty individual.

But with all your resources, man, I don’t own anything by myself. All of my resources I own in partnership with my wife and in partnership with my family. And so I really think that this command to love the Lord with all your resources, with your house, with your cars, with whatever assets you own, right? With whatever possessions you own with your time, with your energy, with whatever that abundance is that the Lord is blessing you with. With all of your resources, that really is a call to coordinate the resources of the family for the purpose of loving God well.

And so that just was a good or helpful lens for me to see that, because I think we just tend to interpret commands so individualistically. And it’s difficult for us to see the what does it look like for us to really love the Lord well as a family. And I think this is a conversation our family has pretty frequently. What does it look like for us to sort of further the kingdom, to love the Lord with what we’ve been given? Because we’re primarily stewards. And so that helps me connect this commandment right back to that mandate to be a steward of the resources of God, but through the family. But yeah, Jeff, what do you think about that verse?

Jeff:
Yeah. That’s so good. I wouldn’t add anything to that actually. Or have much more to say, because I think you took it all, but yeah. I feel like that’s so good, so necessary. And I think exactly what you said. It’s fascinating how, when just little tweaks in … Really I would just say encouragement to people, just really continue to lean into the word, continue to look at different translations, continue to kind of dig in, dig around because there’s something about that where just language is complex and things kind of start dancing or changing or making new connections. And I think it’s just a really powerful practice to do that for sure. And that this is just one tiny example.

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