It’s daunting, even terrifying at times. How can we compete with an evil world and raise up a child who lives wholeheartedly for God? Well precious parent, I had to come to the realization that I did not create my children, so after many failed attempts, I returned to the “owner’s manual”
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “And these words that I command you shall be on your heart. You shall diligently teach them 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.”
Diligently definition: in a way that shows care and conscientiousness in one’s work or duties. Constant in effort to accomplish something, attentive and with persevering consideration.
Note that gently is in the word diligently. Gently is defined as doing something with a mild, kind and tender manner.
At times it seems so overwhelming we feel it can’t be accomplished. In a world bursting with effort to deceive our children, how can we compete? We are tired and stressed and worn thin. Satan has convinced us we are not capable of the task and we beat ourselves up with missed opportunities of yesterday. We tell ourselves we don’t know how or we’re not intelligent enough.
Please take note that the first instruction given in Deuteronomy 6 is regarding OUR learning. “these words that I command shall be upon YOUR heart.” My mother used to tell me “if momma’s cup is empty she will have nothing to give her children”. It is definitely that way when it comes to spiritual things.
Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.”
We must first determine WE will seek Him and then when we catch a glimpse of Him, we share it with our children. The goal of “God sightings” is to seek and share with our children. We are not experts, only announcers telling what God has said and shown us.
As your depth of knowledge increases, your excitement will allow you to teach them more, according to their ability to learn from us. We cannot pass down what we do not have. The love of our Savior is more “caught than taught.” More is learned from a heart full of devotion than from a daily devotion.
Sing songs that speak of Him, tell them about your answered prayer, and pray with them in earnest over everyday events and concerns.
When you walk with them perhaps you can talk about how many miles Jesus must have walked teaching and healing. When you make breakfast tell them about the day that Jesus made breakfast for His disciples. At bath time speak to them about the time that no one wanted to wash stinky feet, but the King of All bent down to teach us about serving. When you see a bird, tell them about how the Lord notices every time one dies. And when you see stars tell them that each one has a name and the wonderful artist that created those stars, knows every one. As they get older and can grasp more depth tell them how the Bible says the stars sing; thousands of years before scientist knew each one made a beautiful sound. Perhaps you could tape your memory verse to the dash of your car and say it together as your “captive audience” is securely buckled in.
One hour, one prayer, one meal at a time. Day by day. Week by week. When you sit in your house, or walk by the way, rise up or lay down. Do not look back. Satan loves to tell us we cannot do today what we failed to do yesterday. Don’t listen, start this hour.
The responsibility and honor belongs to us as parents. It is not the job of the church or school. Ours… the finished product does not belong to us. We cannot force it. It must be caught from us. We cannot pass down what we do not have.
I cannot let you finish reading this without telling you I am not so arrogant as to believe I did everything right. I did not. Far from it, but as I told my children when they were growing up, if I did something right, add to it. And the errors I have made, forgive me for and don’t repeat. I hope to share both my successes and failures that you may learn from both, as one struggling parent to another.
Family memory verse:
Deuteronomy 6:5 “ And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul and with all your strength.”