“Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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).
When I was in seminary, my Old Testament professor had us memorize this passage. It is known as the Shema, which in Hebrew means to hear. It is one of those foundational passages of Scripture that teaches us to show our love to God. This passage tells of the importance of teaching our children to love God and to outwardly show their love to him.
The home is where God's love should begin. We can show our love for God in the way that we reflect him in our homes. So, how do we do this?
Display Scripture throughout your home to mark it as God's territory.
I have always loved having Scripture on display in my house, but since having kids, it has taken on a whole new meaning for me. When my oldest was born, I found a cute sailboat painting with the passage Joshua 1:9 which says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Honestly, when I found it, the reason I liked it so much was that it went with the nautical theme of Jacob’s nursery. After we hung it on the wall, though, I found myself looking at it and praying that Scripture over Jacob’s life. Now all three of my kids have Scripture hanging in their rooms, and I have prayed those verses over each one of them from the time they were born.
On our living room mantle, we have the Fruit of the Spirit passage from Galatians 5:22-23, which fills me with encouragement and conviction daily. And in various other places throughout the house, we have art that either displays Scripture or some characteristic of the Lord.
I believe having Scripture written on the walls of our home marks our home as God’s territory. It is an outward display to the world that the people living in this home are set apart because we follow Jesus. It reminds us of who we follow and what we believe. It teaches my children that being a Christian is not just something we say, but it dictates every area of our lives.
Do a prayer walk through your home to cover it with God's protection.
Another way I have marked our home as God’s territory is through prayer walking. Many years ago I served as a missionary in Charleston, South Carolina. It was there that I learned how to prayer walk. I had an amazing mentor who used to take me to the roughest areas of town and we would walk and pray over every house, every person, and every single thing we could see to claim it for Jesus.
I often find myself now sitting in one of my kid’s rooms praying over it - praying that the Enemy would have no hold on my child and that even their physical room would be filled with the Holy Spirit.
When we have people over for dinner, I pray over my kitchen and dining room space that the Lord’s presence would be felt there. I even pray over our back deck where we entertain so many neighbors and friends in the summer, that we would be a light in the darkness and people would know something is different about the Hellmann house.
Set your home apart for Jesus - today!
1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” We are out in the world constantly in the Enemy’s territory. Our homes should be a refuge where the Spirit of God dwells. Just as the Israelites were commanded to write the words of God on the doorposts of their homes, we are to set our homes apart as belonging to God. That way we will be a living testimony to our children, our neighbors, and the world around us that we love the Lord our God with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our might.