Every once and a while, Michael and I re-evaluate things that we feel that we could do better. Pretty basic, right? Budgeting, time management, marriage…But sometimes, we look at how we are doing with teaching the girls about our faith…which is a pretty big deal when you think about it.
We have been given clean, innocent slates—sponges who will soak up whatever is around them…and it is mine and their father’s jobs to make sure that they are soaking up the right things.
It can be easy sometimes when the adventure of the foreign mission field beckons to focus more on those in other countries than those in our own…and even more so to lose sight of the mission field in our own homes.
Our children are just that. A mission field. An absolute captive audience who desire to be taught and to model what we do…which is both awesome and scary.
Here are some introductory thoughts regarding the HOW TO hide the Word in their hearts.
Speaking of which, let’s start with this.
“Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the Lord and serve and worship other gods…So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your foreheads as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish…”
- Responsibility— It is not the church’s job to raise your child, even spiritually. It’s the same concept regarding your own walk with Christ. The church should be a huge part of developing your faith—but it cannot be the only part. The church is not there when you are at home and on the road and getting up and going to bed…it is your responsibility to teach your Welcome to parenting.
- Intentionality— It would be easy if it said “wear some Christian T-shirts and put some scriptures on the wall in your house”. But it doesn’t. It says to both teach them and talk about When starting out trying to find a rhythm for spiritual growth with your kids, you have to be extremely intentional. So much happens throughout the day that it is easy to forget or “just do it tomorrow”. And yes, sometimes, getting everyone to sleep can be the most Godly thing to in the moment instead of a pre-planned something, but this should not be a consistent occurrence.
- Consistency— Let me be clear. We are busy. You are likely busy. I get it. There is a ton to keep up with. We do not have a daily lesson plan. We don’t even have a set day that we do certain things 90% of the time because our schedules change so much from week to week and month to month. However, in the midst of flexibility, it should not be a surprise to your child when you teach or talk about the things of God. Be consistent in content; not necessarily in presentation timing, style, etc.
- Be an Example—This one should be pretty straightforward. Again, I’m not saying that they should see you with your nose in the Bible every day. But do you set an example in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness….are you working on building your own faith apart from what you are teaching your children. You want them to realize that they can and should do it themselves. But if they never see anyone else do it, why would they even think about it? You cannot teach something well if you do not know it yourself. And if you cannot explain it simply, then you do not understand it. (Food for thought).
- Willingness to Stretch Yourself —Kids will come at you with brilliant yet simple questions and, at times, you may want to blow them off. (If you say “no, never!” you’re a better parent than I…or you don’t have kids who talk yet…) Some examples may include things like “Mommy, why do we not come back to Earth after we die?” or “How is Jesus the one that is in our hearts when He went to Heaven? Where is the Holy Spirit”? And sometimes the answer is “I’m not really sure. What do you think?” or “How about we look it up later?” AND THEN MAKE SURE YOU DO. (Click here to see about raising curious children.)
Please realize. We are not perfect. These are just some things we have pondered and strive to do in our daily lives.
For those of you who have raised kids or who are in the trenches with us, please feel free to share your thoughts!!!
Bonus: TODAY IS ST. PATRICK’S DAY.
I plan on putting out a lot of the resources that we use over the next few posts, but for TODAY….
Check out the Veggie Tales: Sumo of the Opera.
They have a great ~ 15 min segment on Saint Patrick’s story.
With this, we have discussed that we wear green to honor him for what he did to serve God. We’ve been looking forward to this quite a bit around here, actually.
This morning when I told the 4 year old that it was St. Patrick’s Day, she was so excited and wanted to explain it to her sister.
“Do you know what St. Patrick’s Day means?! It means St. Patrick used to be real but then he died.”
We are obviously still working on it…
You can either ask your kids what you think they can learn from Saint Patrick, or, if they are younger, talk about hearing the voice of God, being obedient when God calls you to something, or how to share your faith with others.