10 or 15 years from now, what do you want to be engrained in your kids’ hearts? Do our daily choices and reactions reflect that? I have to ask myself that question often. This is training ground. We are preparing our kids for who they will be. The choices they will make. My goal and hope is that my kids would seek Jesus always and follow his greatest two commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind… And, love your neighbor as yourself.” (MT 22:37, 39)
How do we encourage our children to love God and love others? Deuteronomy 6:6-7 tells us: These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” There it is. It’s not so much a teaching minute, or teaching hour. It’s a way of life. Balance is important as well so as not to overwhelm our kids. As Solomon says, “Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise.” (Ecc. 7:16) There’s no “right way” to teach them. It’s just a matter of making it a part of daily life. You’re the best mom or dad for your child because you’re the exact one God gave them.
Throughout our times with our kids, let’s help them notice…
God Our Forgiver when we lose our temper and ask our child for forgiveness,
God Our Amazing Creator when we notice the trees and flowers,
God Our Grace-Giver when there is a sibling fight and one has to give grace,
God Our Redeemer through sharing that Jesus gave his life for us on the cross,
God Our Greatest Hope when things don’t go their way,
God the Joy-Giver when we remind them he’s the only one who really satisfies,
God Our Comforter when they cry and we tell them God is with us even in our tears,
God the Relationship Giver by having family time,
God the Powerful when we share stories from today and the Bible of his great power,
God’s Unconditional Love when our child spills the entire bag of flour on the floor and we bite our tongue,
God Our Father by praying together,
God the Giver when we love and give to others because he first loved and gave to us.
God the All-Knowing and Our Protector by reminding them God goes before us, and
God With Us when we tell our kids that He is with us when we sit, when we rise, when we walk, when we sleep. Always.
Let’s impress Jesus’ most important commandments on our children’s hearts so their character will hopefully guide the choices they make. While we don’t have control over their choices, we can equip them the best we know how, and then trust the Lord.
The Lord has entrusted these precious children to us so they might experience His great love in our homes and learn what is so dear to His heart: Love God. Love others. Have Faith in Jesus.