Monday, March 8, 2010

Thoughts on Teaching My Children to Follow Jesus

Below I'm going to list a few things I've been mulling over lately. God has been working in my heart to show me some areas I need to work on and I would like to share what He's teaching me.

  • Teaching my child scripture and putting God's word in his little heart starts in our conversations. Example: "This is such a beautiful day. Gramm, did you know that God made this world beautiful to bring glory to Himself?" Gramm says, "But, why Mama?" to which I reply, "Because scripture tells us that the heavens declare the glory of God. That means that the rocks, trees, birds, and beautiful sunlight point out to everyone on earth that God created this place."
  • With my little girls (who will be 2 tomorrow) I have started telling them that God can do anything. I will say, "Vivi, what can God do?" and give her a few seconds and then say "Anything! God can do anything! Say it with me." You get the picture. We sing songs about God's character and they hear big brother's convos with me about spiritual matters. I do not dumb down the Gospel for my children. I want to make His word understandable to them, but I also think it is very important that they understand the words used frequently in the bible, so I try to include those words in my parenting, discussions, etc.
  • Some examples of using biblical language in correction:
  • When a child has a conflict with a sibling or playmate, I encourage him to use the biblical model of restoration as laid out in Matthew 18:15-21. If my little darlin' comes to me to tattle on his playmate, I say, "did you talk to him about it first?" I encourage my child to take his conflict to his brother first and then come and get me if his brother does not listen. I will often quote a bit of this passage during the discussion with my little one.
  • When my child hurts her sibling, I will say something like "Matthew 7 (verse 12) tells us to treat others as we would like to be treated. Do you like it when sissy hits you?"
  • If we are struggling with selfishness, I will say, "Luke 6 (verse 35) tells us to share. Let's try to honor God by sharing." I could go on and on with examples and if you'd like more, let me know and I'll post more.
  • The biggest key for me in using scripture to train my babies is not to focus on my lack of biblical knowledge. I had to let go of the perfectionist desire in me to correctly quote and reference every single scripture I discussed with my children. This perfectionism kept me from imparting truth to those entrusted to me.
  • I have also seen that teaching my children by example in my behavior is just as important, if not more important, than spouting off scriptures. If I want my child to be accepting and non-critical of others, I must not openly criticize the decisions others around us make whether that be schooling, marriage, finances, parenting, etc. Before I say something about someone, I have to ask myself, "Is it helpful? Is it edifying (Ephesians 4:29)? Then, shut your trap, HB!" If I am openly opinionated, my children will learn to be openly opinionated. If I want him to love even the most awkward people and not gawk at someone who talks, walks or smells funny, I must openly love and accept this person as well and not be miffed by the outward difference between he and I.
  • I am not an expert at parenting. I am just a fellow sojourner trying to live a life filled with His love. Most of what I know has been learned by the example of Godly women who let me peak into their lives.
And, just to remind you all how big my girls are getting and how sweet the little guy is, a couple pics:

Vivi on the left, Brook on the right. Gramm was in a picture-avoiding phase.

Adorable boy, handsome hubby. ;)

1 comment:

  1. Awesome!!!!! I have this little thing that I tell my little ones before bed about how much I love them (more than this or that... inserting different things) and then I ask them who loves them more than Mommy and Daddy, they say God and then we talk about how God loves them no matter what and will always love them.
    I have gone back and forth with doing what you have written about here. Sometimes I am on fire with it and then other times I get lazy. But you are so right, God has entrusted these little heart to me and it is my job to write God's word on their hearts!!! Thank you for inspiring me to get back on the ball!
    Keith & are are not going to do AWANA next year. We do think it is a good program, we jsut feel called that it is our job to disciple our children. We have a great book called Grace and Truth Memory book and we are working it through it, they are memorizing Scripture, learning hymns and answering questions about the character of God.