Welcome back to another Motherhood 101 session. In previous weeks we have talked about children being a gift as well as ways we can love our children. This week we are going to focus on teaching these precious ones that God has entrusted us with.
English Standard Version (ESV)
To teach means to show how to do something; to give lessons to/ to provide knowledge and insight. The definition may seem obvious, it is a word we use often, but let the words sink in. I cannot begin to recount how many times I have been frustrated by my children not knowing how to do a simple task whether it be properly wiping down the table, tying their shoes, or blowing their nose. It is at these moments as I am watching the crumbs fall on the floor or as I see the lack of confidence as they are fumbling with a shoe lace in front of friends that I realize... I have not taught them properly. I may have shown them once but teaching involves going over and over something until the goal is reached.
Teaching involves consistency as well as being available to your child. When your child comes to you and asks you a question try not to just brush it aside or give them a pat answer, especially when it comes to questions about their faith. If you do not know an answer, tell them the truth, and then search the Scriptures with them to find the answer, this is especially important as they get older and start making their faith their own.
We are called to teach our children how to love the Lord with ALL of their heart, soul and might, that is not an easy command. This verse causes me to pause... and ask myself "Am I teaching my children how to love the Lord? Are they seeing God's love through me in my day to day actions with them and through my words? Am I spending time in God's Word myself so I can pass knowledge/wisdom along to them?" After all, "we cannot give to our children what we do not ourselves possess" - Randy Wilson - . So, if I am not studying the Scriptures then how can I pass along the Biblical advice to my children?
"The greatest legacy we can leave our children for the battlefields that will be theirs is to teach them Scriptures daily". - Randy Wilson -
I definitely need to prepare my children better for the world that they will be entering. I have lacked diligence (characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort) when it has come to the daily reading of God's Word to my children. What I need to remember is that how I train these precious souls will not only influence them, but will influence generations to come. What we are teaching our children today does not stop with them... it will go on and on through each generation. If we lead them with love, then more often than naught, they will also lead with love in their families.
In order to teach our children we need to make ourselves available to them. The best way to instruct our children is by having a relationship with them, and relationship begins with getting to know someone by talking/communication.
"A conversational relationship with our children is vital to their spiritual formation. You may hear that and be pleased; you talk often with your children about spiritual things. However, spiritual conversation with your children may be about as frequent as leap years or the appearance of a comet. If that aspect is present in your relationship, then there's always room for improvement. If that aspect is missing, then it's never too late to begin; it may be harder, but never too late." - John Blase - For more insight on how to talk with your children please read John's simple, concise article "Talk, talk, talk", it has wonderful advice on how to speak to your kids at various stages (ages 0-3, 4-7, 8-12, and the teen years).
Find opportunities each day to tell/show your children God's love. Pray over them/with them at a time other than before a meal. Choose a verse to memorize together as a family, currently we are working on Psalm 27:1 with our children :
Of David.1 The Lord is my light and my salvation —
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
If we can bury God's Word in their hearts now they will be able to all upon these verses later when the need arises.
There are often teachable moments during the day, especially with little ones. "Mommy, why is the sky blue?" One way to answer "Because God is a wonderful artist and He wanted to make us smile by making the sky blue." As they get older you can continue to explain how God created the different molecules in the air and it is the light bouncing off/being absorbed by these molecules that make it blue (or pink, red, purple).
Do not ignore these simple moments that allow us to share about our awesome God, whether it is to teach a lesson when your brood are arguing, explaining creation through the world around us, or singing songs to Him together as you drive in the car. God is all around us.
Take the time to be available to your children today, talk to them in the morning, afternoon, and evening about our Lord and watch the seeds that you plant begin to sprout into trees that never fail to bear fruit.
New International Version (NIV)
whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”