The Ninth Part of a Nine Part Series on Depression Which Began on February 10, 2016

There are five main causes of depression. Each by itself may lead to depression, but when an individual encounters more than one of these five, depression is far more likely. The First experience that can cause depression is a significant Loss, the Second is Anger, the Third is our own Sin, the Fourth is Anxiety and Stress, and the Fifth: A Painful Childhood.

A Painful childhood

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 was at the heart and center of Israel’s relationship with God. There is only One God, and they must love and obey Him alone. This passage contains some clear directives for strong, godly families:

Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (v.5). “In some respects it can be argued that the whole book of Deuteronomy is simply a commentary on this one verse.”

(Christensen, 1991, p. 143. Word Biblical Commentary, volume 6A, Deuteronomy 1-11         Dallas: Word Books).

Moses spoke to the families of Israel and reminded them to love the Lord supremely. God was to be the object of their love. Today God intends for our homes to radiate our love for Him, and for our relationship with Him to be more important than work, hobbies, money, or anything else. Healthy families need a solid foundation built on the love of God.

Set God’s Word on your heart (v.6). Merrill describes these commandments (lit., these words) as “a term that encompasses the full corpus of the covenant text communicated by Moses but which is encapsulated especially in the Shema of vv. 4-5 . . . To ‘be upon the heart’ is to be in one’s constant, conscious reflection.”

(Merrill, 1994, p. 167. Deuteronomy (Vol. 4) In The New American Commentary           Nashville: B&H Publishing Group).

The commitment the Israelites had to God and His Word was to be more than mere external ritual. The Word of God was to be set in the hearts of parents. When we were children, God desired that our parents model to us a deep personal closeness with the Savior and adherence to His Word. He intended for us to consistently see, hear, and experience our parents’ love for God.

Teach your children to love God and His Word (vv. 7-9). Israel would “ensure continuity of this allegiance and this covenant faith by diligently teaching her children.”

(Thompson, 1974, p. 121. Deuteronomy:  Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press).

Parenting must be intentional. Parents must make a concerted effort to communicate to children their relationship to God and love for His Word. Healthy parents seek to instill a love for God in their children. Deuteronomy 6:7-9 explains how and when God’s Word should be taught: “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.”

These principles were so important to God that he had Moses declare them to Israel just before entering the promised land. They are timeless. And as such, chaos enters a child’s life to the degree that they are missing. Jesus said that a house built on sand will fall (Matthew 7:26). Many children grow up with scars from a fallen home. They do not all become depressed as adults, but when other difficulties are encountered later on in life, a serious depression may occur.

Dr James P Porowski     Licensed Psychologist    Raleigh NC     February 22, 2016