I am so happy to be in a women’s Bible study again. It’s been awhile, like 3 years, since I’ve been actively involved in a study. I’m not talking about a Sunday school class, rather a group of women committed and focused to studying God’s Word together. I knew I had missed being in such a group, but it really didn’t sink in with me just how much, until this morning.
As I was sitting in my favorite chair enjoying a cup of coffee and reading my Bible, a passage in Deuteronomy came alive to me like never before. Now that I’m a mother, it really rang true just how vital it is.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
While I’ve read this scripture before, this time it took on a fresh new meaning as I realized just how short the window of time I have with my child. I have become increasingly aware of my need to teach him the truths of the Word of God. Yes, we go to church weekly where my now 3 year old is involved in a little Sunday School class. While this is good, it certainly cannot be all there is. I want to read to him from his (children’s) Bible daily, teach him how to pray, and trust that God not only exists but He created him, loves him, and cares for his every need. I want him to love God’s Word, and learn the principles therein for living a godly life that honors Christ.
By far, the best and most effective way he will learn about God is in our home as he observes his Mommy and Daddy modeling a godly lifestyle. For him to see us sitting down to pray and reading the Word consistently is far more effective than only hearing us talk about doing it. For him to see us model what a godly family looks like, what we allow into our minds through TV and radio, who our friends are, how we spend time as a family, watch us resolve conflict and seek God’s wisdom in time of need are all tangible ways that he will learn. For him to really grasp what it means to be a believer, it has to be lived out so that as he matures, he will see the value of a life lived with its foundation in Christ. This foundation is the best way that my son will (hopefully) learn to make God-honoring decisions and take appropriate stands for his faith even when it’s not culturally popular, or “PC”. Our culture is going down the drain on a fast track. No longer can we stand by, apathetically, and hope our children will pick this or that up on their own. It is our job, my job to teach him. I cannot depend on my church, his SS class or any Christian schooling he may be part of.
While imparting these things into his young life seems at times like an overwhelming task to me, I feel the Lord giving me strength, wisdom, and the desire to equip him with truth. It is freeing to know that it’s not about me, rather allowing myself to be used of Him. I was encouraged this week at my son’s 3 year check-up. Our pediatrician wanted to listen to our son’s chest and as he was about to place the stethoscope on his heart, my son exclaimed, “God lives in my heart!” My husband and I were both in the examining room and exchanged glances that he is catching at least some of what we talk about. The pediatrician giggled a bit as we were all caught off guard by his response and said “let’s see if we can hear Jesus in your heart.” Such a precious moment, one I hope to have forever engrained in my mind.
I’ve heard it said that when raising a child, you have to think long-term. In other words, you need to “look down the road,” so to speak, and visualize them as a grown, fully-raised man or woman. What disciplines and attributes do you want them to have? What kind of person do you want them to marry? Do they have the tools necessary to live on their own? After all, we’re raising not just a child, but a man or woman. We have a big responsibility in raising them. They are simply “on loan” to us for just a short while. Our job as parents is to train them up in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). God hears and honors our prayers. Decide today to commit your child(ren) to prayer, it is the wisest thing we can do.