May I confess something? As a first generation Christian, I’ve often felt clueless about how to raise our children with a Biblical foundation. I’ve had to pay careful attention to the examples set by my Christian friends while also praying for God to equip me for today. Not for tomorrow. But for today.
When my children were little, I made the most of Christian resources. We spent hours enjoying Max Lucado’s Hermie & Wormie videos, reading the Ergermeier Story Bible, and listening to Focus on the Family’s Odyssey stories. I grew up in my faith alongside my children, but I knew I needed to learn more about the Word.
By God’s grace, I was invited by a friend to sign up for a Bible study at church, which is where my spiritual growth spurt really happened! I’d leave the dishes in the sink on Tuesday mornings, and pack the kiddos in the car to head off to church. Nap time became my homework time, as I left the laundry and cleaning for time when the kids where nipping at my heels.
My priorities were often ridiculed by those who simply didn’t understand my passion for Jesus, but I was desperate to learn how to raise my children with a Savior I only just met.
It turns out my time in the Word met a need far greater than I could imagine. See my littles were going to outgrow the Veggie Tales and Jesus Storybook Bible (even if I don’t). They were going to become teenagers who needed to hear the Truth, shared from my heart, in a way that was relevant to their life today. The Word preached at them simply won’t accomplish the goal to see them know Jesus.
Don’t get me wrong, I wholly support impressing disciplines of the faith upon our children, but our teens need more than knowledge and habits. They need relationships in which Scripture truths are being lived out in messy moments. When they are struggling with friend issues, having an identity crisis, and battling their own sin issues, Biblical lectures won’t accomplish anything. What they need is our unconditional love and listening ears as the Holy Spirit prompts us to look past their words, and into their hearts, so that we can identify the core issues and prayerfully respond with Biblical truth. But for this to happen, we mommas must be knee deep in the Word and walking in step with the Spirit. If we are going to respond to the Lord’s call in Deuteronomy 6:5-7 to “teach them diligently”, it seems we must first be diligent students of the Word.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 ESV
“You shall love the LORD our God with all your heart and with all our soul and with all our 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, and when you rise.”
Out of a deep love for God, and for our children, we need to make time to immerse ourselves in the Scriptures so that the Truth can be rooted in our hearts and minds. By doing so, God will give us the words and wisdom to be able to diligent teach the Scriptrues to our children as we talk with them at home, move with them throughout our days, pray it over them when we tuck them into bed, and greet them each morning with the promises of God.
So as we look toward this new school year with a natural focus on how to prepare our girls for learning all that God has in store for them, maybe we should also be thinking about what God may want us to learn, too.
- What priority shifts need to occur in our schedules in order to make time to study the Scriptures?
- How can we adjust our expectations so that meeting with the Lord each day is more than a good idea, but becomes a part of our routines?
- What truths do we need to dig deep into for the sake of overflowing His Word onto our girls?
- Do we need to make time to go to Bible Study this year and who can we invite to join us on the journey?
Sweet momma friends, let us spur one another on to make time to grow in our faith. Imagine what that overflow onto our daughters would look like come spring.
Join me next month for part 2, in which I’ll share some practical ideas for how to teach our daughters diligently.
*image: flickr photo credit: mysouthborough