A Legacy For Our Children

I have had some of you ask me what tools I use to share my faith with my kiddos. I am happy to share my resources. But before I get into that I want to give you some food for thought when you are considering this important task of teaching our children.

First, do you make knowing God a priority in your own life? I once heard someone say that a leader can only lead as far as he or she has traveled. So true. Make time yourself to study the Bible and pray. Your kids are watching whether you know it or not. And, the more you begin to understand God’s word and his purposes for your life, the more you will bear fruit. Consider yourself a fruit tree. An apple tree that doesn’t bear fruit does not have purpose. Live with purpose. Discover your purpose by spending time with your Creator, after all, he knows you best! This is definitely the strongest and most powerful resource I can share with you. Don’t get me wrong, I have not cracked the code in raising perfect children, but I do know growing personally in my own faith and praying continually for wisdom and humility in raising my children should be my priority. And by continually, I mean AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. I need divine help … often.

Second, what is your motivation for teaching your children? Obviously well-behaved children that use polite words, never hurt another person’s feelings and are successful members of society, would be great, but that is not likely going to happen all of the time. But, when you look at your child as a soon-to-be-independent adult that will one day have to make choices of his own, your perspective shifts. Instead of a momentary fix we seek a long-term solution. My discipline/teaching is no longer a correction because of/due to my child embarrassing me at any given moment, but more a lifelong lesson of how his behavior will affect him in the future. Please understand that I have to correct my children {often} and don’t always keep this in the forefront of my mind, but I want to. My ultimate goal for my children is that they will grow up to love Jesus, that they will love and respect people and that they will be trees that bear fruit rather than just talk about bearing fruit. Keeping this perspective makes me WANT to share Jesus and take the time to do it.

Okay, so now that we’ve talked about those two things, here is a story from Joshua that only further encouraged my desire to teach my kids. Kids ask questions. Constantly. Incessantly {at least in my home}. God wants us to be ready to answer them. Check this out, Joshua 4:4-8 “So Joshua called together the 12 men he had appointed from among the people of Israel. There was one man from each tribe.  He said to them, ‘Go back to the middle of the Jordan River. Go to where the ark of the Lord your God is. Each one of you must pick up a stone. You must carry it on your shoulder. There will be as many stones as there are tribes in Israel. The stones will serve as a reminder to you.’ In days to come, your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’  Tell them that the Lord cut off the flow of water in the Jordan River. Tell them its water stopped flowing when the ark of the covenant of the Lord went across. The stones will always remind the Israelites of what happened there.”

WOW! Does that give you goose bumps? It did for me. My kids will ask me about the “rock pillars” I have set up in my life. They will say, “Mommy what does that mean?” For example my son asks, “Mommy, why do you have those words hanging on your mirror?” “Well, to remind me that I don’t have to worry. It is so easy for mommy to get upset and start worrying, but God doesn’t want me to. I need to remember that He will take care of me no matter what.” And then I take a moment to ask my child if there are things he worries about. Talk about it. Listen. HEAR. I love this story in that it involved the lives of these very individuals. It means that God will use my life story to influence my children. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

Now for tools that help initiate conversation….please remember my kids are 6 years old and under so my repertoire may not be for older kids.

First is the Jesus Story Book Bible. I cry almost every time I read a story from it because it is so well written and explains Jesus in ways that capture my heart, at 32 years of age.

Hubby and I have decided to read each one of our kids a small devotion before bed. I highly recommend these two. Our kids love them and again, the message is simple yet profound.

For girls ::

And for boys ::

If you have really little ones, this was one we used. Our kiddos loved the pictures and because the content is short, it was able to keep their 4 minute attention span!

Before the days of having to go out and meet the school bus, we’d sit at the breakfast table and read our devotion together. Somedays it still happens. But, most days our devotion time is at the end of the day when my babes are bathed and jammied. I crawl into their beds and we talk. Yes, it takes time and I usually have a gazillion other things I’d like to get done before I turn in for the night. But, I choose to invest {and it doesn’t happen every night but I want it to}. And I ask God for the strength to do it because my heart is not always in it.

Find what works for you. Same time every day? Bed time? Mid-day? Just do it. Invest the time and continually seek God and his wisdom in how to take advantage of teachable moments.

As we read in Joshua, our children will ask.

To a year of teaching our children TRUTH!



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One Response to A Legacy For Our Children

  1. charis says:

    very thoughtful post. i love the passage you shared from joshua and i agree that when we have perspective on the bigger picture of our kids’ lives… even a perspective of them standing before the Lord someday, it really does alter the choices we make in parenting and what becomes important. one of the most special things about being a mom is getting to teach my kids about the Lord. love all your tips and sharing of your experience.

    my recent post: how will you use your time?

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