Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Impressing On My Children
I have many memories of my parents spending their own quiet time with the Lord. In the mornings, I could always count on finding my mom sitting at the end of our couch, Bible and journal in hand. My brothers and I knew that no breakfast would be served until Mom was done with her quiet time. At the end of the day, my dad would come home from work, kiss my mom, catch up with us for a while, and then, on many occasions, retreat to his room until dinner was ready. When sent to tell him to come eat, I’d find him laying on the bed with the Bible spread out across his chest. Sometimes he was sleeping, but most of the time he was underlining or starring passages and making notes in the margins. I always wanted to find something in my Bible worth underlining, or have some thought to jot down as well.
At night, my mom would pray after tucking me in, and my dad did the same with my brothers. The nightly routine of praying with my mom continued until I moved out of the house to go to college. Granted, as I got older I went into her room since mine was too much of a mess. I never doubted the reality of my parents’ faith. I saw it modeled and wanted the same for myself.
Since becoming a mother myself, modeling my faith has been a frequent topic of thought in my mind. How do I maintain the depth and frequency of my time with the Lord while also showing Jace how valuable and genuine it is in my heart? The things I thought would have come so naturally have truly taken effort and consideration. When I found myself slipping into a routine-sounding prayer before putting him to bed each time… “Dear Jesus, Thank you for Jace. Please help him to have a good night sleep. In Jesus name, Amen…” I realized that this precious time of rocking him while he cuddled into me and actually listened was an amazing opportunity to not only pray, but model heart-felt prayer and consistently advocate for my non-believing brother. By committing to this, I feel convicted each time I allow myself to rush through and use the routine prayer.
While my quiet times in the past have always been at night in bed before going to sleep, I’ve recently realized that it’s impossible for my son to see how important daily time in the Word is to me. So now I do it in the mornings while he watches Dora or any show of choice. It may not be as intimate of a time between me and the Lord, I find it no less valuable—if anything, I feel like God has rewarded me with greater revelations about His Word.
I love Deuteronomy 6:5-9. We are given the commandment to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and strength. But that love is not supposed to stop at the personal level—it’s to be impressed on our children. To be demonstrated in our words and actions. To be engrained in their hearts and minds. My words, regardless of where I am or what I’m doing, are to point my children to an understanding and respect of God’s commands. My faith is to be present within my home, not just my heart.
I definitely have not arrived in regards to impressing my faith on my children, but I’m finding that when I keep it at the forefront of my mind, it’s much more likely to happen. I’m so thankful for parents who honored this command and can only hope and pray that I can do the same for mine.