More Than Words
Teaching our children to love the Lord with their words and their actions
Right now I have a little one who is in the “Why” stage. I ask her to go put on her pajamas. Why? I ask her not to jump on the couch. Why? I ask her to be kind to her sister. Why? I tell her to hold my hand in the parking lot. Why? Soon the words that come out of my mouth, the dreaded words that I said, I was never going to say, came out of my mouth, “Because I said so!” I am a rule follower. If I am given a rule I will follow it. That is pretty much how I have viewed my walk and relationship with the Lord. I would read the Bible and did what it said. Not because I loved the Lord, but because He had, “said so”.
Our family’s mission statement is, “Be kind to everyone that God brings into your world. You may not agree with their actions or their beliefs, but you are to always be kind.” We want our daughters to not just learn and memorize God’s word but we want them to put their knowledge of the Word into practice. In both our words and actions, our family strives to live out our family’s mission statement in the daily encounters in our lives.
Why Mom, why????
Hiding the Word in their Hearts
“Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against thee”. Psalm 119:11
Each day I repeat Ephesians 2:10 to my daughters and tell them they are amazing creations of God and He has great plans for their little lives. I tell them that Mommy and Daddy love them and have loved them, even before they were born. I encourage them to honor the bodies that God has given them, by being modest in their clothing, words and in their behavior. I tell them the importance of purity before marriage, even when the world around them, may make them feel that the opposite is true.
My daughters are taught in our home to be compassionate and encouraging to the people in their world, based on Proverbs 16:24. They may have a friend that is having a hard time at school, a parent out of work, or a handicap sibling. I encourage them to be like a balloon and lift up their little friends instead of being like a brick and pull them down. We tell our daughters that the second greatest commitment they will make, next to their commitment to follow the Lord, is marriage. Every morning during my quiet time before the Lord, I pray (it being God’s will), for the husbands that He is creating for my two sweet girls. I pray that my husband and I give them a Godly and honest example of a Biblical marriage.
Today a bridesmaid...tomorrow a bride!
Putting the Word into Practice
If you are going to talk the talk, you need to walk the walk!
Our church held a coin drive to support a local crisis pregnancy center. I asked my oldest daughter if she would like to donate some coins to help babies and other mommies. She went and got her piggy bank from her room and put all the coins she had, into a container in order to make her donation. Recently, one of my oldest and dearest friends faced the death of her stepfather. Since the funeral was local, I made plans to attend. I was telling my oldest that my friend had two little boys, who were sad. My daughter said, “We need to get them a present.” It was just a little something that I took to my friend’s sons, but they thought it was great…who doesn’t love a Teenage Mutant Ninja turtle coloring book! My prayer is that my daughters saw that even the simplest of kind gestures can make a huge difference in the life of someone going through a heartbreaking trial. A friend of mine became separated from her husband. She came to me for some counsel because she told me she saw something “different, happier in my marriage”. Over several months my friend came to our home for dinners, cookouts and even the occasional s’mores on a back yard fire. During our time together, my husband and I were able to share the reason our relationship was different; Jesus Christ had saved and transformed our lives. Soon my friend and her husband restored their relationship. Most importantly, they both had a life changing experience of accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Parenting our children towards a real, transparent, deep relationship with the Lord can be challenging and often time consuming. We do not do it perfectly, but we do it with the perspective of wanting our children to grow into adults that love the Lord with all their minds, hearts and strength. We desire our children to serve the Lord with gladness, not just with lip service but with service to others.
Our family is not perfect, but we sure do love each other!!