Previous Verse


Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

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Make them visible reminders to yourself and to others of your commitment to follow God, and establish them as filters to help you control the influences that come in and go out of your home.



This was being spoken to people who had no doors or gates because they were living in tents! Obviously, the meaning for them at that time was symbolic. Once they built houses and transitioned from tents to houses, they could apply both the symbolic meaning and a literal one. The symbolic meaning is made clear in my paraphrase. This means that the previous verse was also intended to be interpreted first as symbolism while a literal interpretation was secondary and optional.

Control the Influences that Enter Your Home

Doorposts were seen as the point of control for what enters and leaves a house. Usually that meant something that can influence the people within that house to do good or to do evil, or the influence your family has on others around you. I think the primary emphasis here was with the influences that entered the home, not the ones leaving the home.

In order for the teaching found in God’s word to serve as a filter for the influences that enter a home, there needs to be one or two guardians who know God’s word well and approve or disapprove every influence. It should be obvious that I am speaking about the father and mother as those guardians. This means that Dad and Mom need to be working together on this issue, not pulling against each other.

If you are a parent of children that are still minors, you should control what comes into your home and influences your children’s thinking and actions. TV is a major influence. Many people have allowed their children to have their own TV so they don’t disrupt the viewing habits of the parents. It is a convenient solution, but in reality, it is no solution at all because it takes things the wrong direction when it comes to the control of influences. If you allow your children

to have their own TV in their bedroom, that is literally giving away the control of a child’s mind to people you don’t know.

The problem of arguing over what to watch on TV starts with a large amount of time spend watching TV. The kids want to watch lots of TV because they see you watching lots of TV. If the TV were used only for special occasions, there wouldn’t be much arguing about it. There is no room here for selfishness, rather each parent should be focused on what is best for the children. One of the best decisions my wife and I ever made was to get rid of access to TV programming. I suggest you consider doing the same. Of course, today one can view TV shows through various internet sights, so we need to be careful about that too.

Access to the internet is even worse than TV in many ways. It is an almost wide-open source of information and entertainment with very few limits. I see many dangers and no benefits of allowing a minor to have unaccompanied access to everything on the web.

Something similar can be said about education. When you send your children to an institution of mass education, be it a public or private school, you have abdicated the responsibility of teaching your children the ways of God and preparing them for life. It helps if a parent is highly involved with things like homework, but there will be much that the child needs to unlearn. That is especially true if your child goes to a public school. If you trust a public school for your children’s preparation for life, you have entrusted them into the hands of a system that teaches moral relativism, evolution, atheism, sexual freedom, abortion, identity confusion, etc., etc.

As parents, your knowledge and application of God’s word should serve as the doorway into your home. Everything should go through you, and you should approve only those things that square with God’s word.