Make It Your Mission…

I grew up in the church and decided to follow Jesus at an early age. My parents taught Sunday school, I sang in the cherub choir, I attended multiple weekly events at our church and also went to school at the church. At times, I might have said we “lived” there. I was surrounded by it. I was eating, sleeping and breathing it. I never claimed to understand it all, but I could recite it for sure. Unfortunately my decisions did not always reflect my choice to follow Jesus, but my heart belonged to him. I am most thankful to God for captivating me at an early age and I am also thankful for the people he placed in my life along the way to help shape me.

Now that I have kids of my own, I want them to know the Truth. I want them to trust Jesus with everything. I want them to make not just good choices, but the best choices. I want them to learn to pray with confidence and passion. I want them to know the love of God like nothing they’ve every known. I want them to be able to be still before the Lord. Oh I could go on and on. I have one child that desires to know more about all of these things. And then, I have another child that doesn’t seem to care. It is so rewarding to get a receptive answer and hear truth coming from the mouth of one, only to turn to the other and hear, “Not again, Mommy.” But, I press on. I continue to pursue teaching them the truth even when I, and they, don’t feel like it. Why? Because there are two forces at play. The stronger one wins. There is the world and then there is Jesus. It is a constant game of tug-of-war and I see the battle in my children, daily. I battle with it all day long too, who I am kidding?

We must equip our kids as we equip ourselves. I have heard some say, “My kids just aren’t into that stuff.” Or, “If my kids didn’t give me such a hard time it would be easier.” I say, “NO!” If your children are living under your roof, it is your charge as a parent to train your child; to make it available just as you do food for breakfast. Proverbs 22:6, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” And how exactly do we do that?  Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” This means MAKE IT YOUR LIFE. YOUR MISSION. In everything you do, set an example. Yes, you will fail. I fail a lot. I ask my children for forgiveness a lot. But when my failures are followed by an apology, I am indirectly teaching my children a lesson in humility, God’s forgiveness and how important it is to forgive others. Do you doubt whether or not you are able? Or that your children won’t be receptive?

Consider this … How many children believe in Santa? How many people left milk and cookies {or carrots for a leaner Santa} on December 24th? How manyof you were angry at *that kid* that told your child Santa wasn’t real? He’s magical, he gives hope, gifts and he seems to know each child. We, as parents, delight in watching our children embrace the magic of Christmas.

In fact, we go to extremes to keep it alive. Leaving a trail of boot prints through the house, taking a bite from a cookie and leaving it on the plate, making tracks in the snow to resemble a sleigh, and leaving a “From: Santa” tag on the most desired gift. These are just a few of the great lengths people will go to to ensure the magic stays alive. I didn’t even include the songs, the books, the store decorations, and the countless reminders about Santa that we encounter in the holiday season. We make believers out of our children.

So, what’s the difference? If we make every effort to help our children believe in Santa, why don’t we make every effort to help our children believe in Jesus. He he gives hope, He’s entrusted us with gifts and He knows each child. He’s done more and offers more than Santa ever could and yet we sit back and say that our kids just don’t get into it. This is not a battle you want to lose. Your kids need you. INVEST in them. TEACH them. TRAIN them. Make believers out of your children. If they choose to reject it, then you pray. But, you will know that you have exposed them to it and have done what you could to introduce them to a God that loves them more than anything.

This was a tough post to write. I pray that you walk away encouraged and empowered.  As moms, aunties, friends, grandmas, and sisters we have an incredible role in the lives of the children we interact with on a daily basis.

Make 2012 count. Be Jesus to your kids and MAKE BELIEVERS OUT OF THEM!



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20 Responses to Make It Your Mission…

  1. Joni says:

    Although Santa is made to seem magical it has been Satans way of deceiving our children
    Why Santa? Why not Jesus to the world
    Why should kids grow up with the knowledge of a fat man coming and giving them toys
    What about the poor kids that don’t get toys at Christmas
    Jesus is all we should be teaching our children
    God bless you and your family and happy New Year
    PS they don’t teach about Santa in Israel and that’s where Jesus was born and raised
    Think about it…..

  2. veronica says:

    As always, wonderful thoughts to get me thinking! We dont have kids yet, but when the time comes we want to “make it our mission” to teach them by example how to live like and for Jesus.

  3. Pam K says:

    This is so true and in my quiet time this morning with my devotion I had to confess to God the skills I fall short in while trying to be a doer of His word and an example for my sons. Do you suggest a particular children’s devotion? I want to please God with my decisions concerning our children and I feel so honored that He trusted us with them. Thank you for the post.

  4. ShannonK says:

    Well said. Following Jesus is the most important decision of their life that a child will make, that is a responsibility every adult follower of Christ should keep in mind. As an aunt, step mother and youth Bible Study teacher, I fail Him miserably. Especially In my failings I am an example of God’s grace. He certainly uses us in ways we never know, and I see that as a huge blessing. Thank you for your post!

  5. melissa erin says: your post. very well written. hope it’s okay to share what you have written with my blog readers. every word resonates with me. hope you had a Merry Christmas…and thanks for the inspiration you’ve given to get 2012 off to a great start!

  6. Allison says:

    Thanks for this great reminder!

  7. charis says:

    i have always loved that passage in deuteronomy. i believe as parents this is the one single most important mission the Lord has entrusted us with and your post is timely as the end of a year is a time people reflect on what they want to make a priority for the upcoming year.

    my recent post: the great work of God

  8. Genevieve says:

    I agree totally. Ugh and my kids are “those kids” this year. I think it’s funny, but Santa moms hate me. :( (I don’t think THAT is funny, just my kids shouting, “but he’s not real!” to their entire preschool class… Well, that IS kinda funny. Still, I have made a note of reminding them earlier in the season next year that people don’t want their hopes crushed in the middle of preschool math.)

    As for children who “are not that into Jesus” I also agree with your sentiments. But is it really in our power to “make” believers out of them? I have a feeling im messing with semantics now, because i think i understand your heart. But you see, my brother and sister, like me, we’re raised by our devoted Christian stay at home mom who read us proverbs every single day for years and had us memorizing new testament verses, and learning to pray and trust Jesus from a very early age, have both rejected God and His gospel and chosen to live self centered lives. You wouldn’t put the blame on the momma would you? I worry that some young mommas (myself included, oddly enough) are feeling altogether too much pressure. All we can do is diligently teach the children. I don’t think we can assume they will absolutely choose Christ because of us, but at the same time I’d be the last to say we don’t have certain influence. It’s just not absolute, right?

    • K.C. says:

      Thanks for your comment Gen. I agree that it is not up to us whether or not our children choose to believe in Christ. That is God’s business. I do believe, however, that it is our responsibility, our duty if you will, to shed light on the things of God. To make it our life’s mission as in Deuteronomy … when we lie down, sit up, etc. I know that you are a foodie and you truly believe in making excellent choices for your kids’ nutrition. You are living it out daily and in turn exposing them to a way of life that you believe is crucial to their existence {whole foods that nourish them}. In a sense, you are “making believers out of them” whether they know it or not. Now, when they move out of your house, they may decide that they do not want to eat that way anymore, but while in your home, you will continue to make choices based on what is best for them. This is what I am saying … how are we spending time with our kids? What are we teaching our children? Are we exposing them to the things of God so that they have a foundation to build on? I DO believe that is our responsibility. And I DO believe we, as moms, should feel some responsibility and pressure. If not, we may take it too lightly and miss opportunities. As I mentioned in the post, it is a battle for their life, just as you feel like feeding them whole foods is a battle for their health. You will spend hours making nutritious food for them because you believe their life depends on it. My heart hurts for your brother and sister and I know that your mom probably questions whether or not she “did” enough. I know that I’ll do the same if my children choose something other than Christ. Right now, in the present, I do the best I can to honor God by reading the Bible to them, praying with them and using life experiences to teach them who Jesus is and what He has done for us. And I pray. Ultimately, God calls them and they have to answer Him; my role is to teach them and train them to hear his voice when He calls. So yes, it probably is the semantics that threw you off … you mentioned diligence and I think that is exactly right. Be diligent.

      • Genevieve says:

        Nicely said, friend. Sorry if I come across as touchy on this subject. Haha I guess I am. But the conversation is good for me, so thank you for further expressing your message. It is good.

        And on the side: I hope it doesn’t seem to you that I spend more time feeding the children than I do teaching them. :) Your analogy was powerful and I am ever ready to be reminded (by god through his word and his people) of any area of idolatry in my life.

        Thank you for your time and shameless (a good thing!) commitment to Jesus!

        • K.C. says:

          I was not offended AT ALL. In fact, you brought up some good conversation that made me sit back and rethink my approach and my motivation. I believe you and I are on a similar path Gen. We long for a close relationship with Jesus. We desire a home that breathes grace, peace and a presence that is Christ-filled. And, at the end of the day, we want to rest our heads and hear our Father say, “Well done.”

          I was in no way implying that you spend too much time in the kitchen, please don’t feel that way! I think what you are doing for your family is awesome. I was simply pointing out that you live out what you believe in regards to nutrition and you do it beautifully {your passion and perseverance is admirable}. I also think you do the same when it comes to your children and teaching them about a God who loves them. Keep up the good work Gen!

          Let’s do coffee again!

          • Genevieve says:

            Coffee sounds great.

            And yes, on re-reading, I appreciate how you say we ought to feel some pressure as parents. Again, I’m struggling with semantics… Hmm let’s see. We are responsible. So that’s pressure of sorts. And some days it feels very weighty. But we are not ultimately responsible for their fates. That’s where I get hung up. I soooo badly want to ensure their good standing with the Father that I begin to fear. It is fear I feel. There we go. Not just pressure. Fear ties me up and strangles my joy. That is what I’m letting go of when I say, “we cannot ‘make’ believers out of them.

            There. I just thought out loud… Umm on a public blog. Oops. ;) anyway, I do think we are traveling the same path toward (and with, thank goodness!) our lovely Jesus. Thanks for letting me ramble through this. Touched a nerve today, K.C.! :)

  9. Donna says:

    As a Grandma, I needed to be reminded that I still have a roll in my grandchildren following Jesus. Thank you for the reminder! Take Care and God Bless! Donna

  10. Kelly says:

    Amen Girl! My thoughts this year exactly.

  11. Kim says:

    Great post. I have found your memory verses and even the memorization of the Christmas stories as great ways to weave in this relationship with Christ to our kids. Thank you for your struggles and for posting it to help us all grow.
    My three year old daughter did ask as we went to Christmas Eve service, “will the REAL baby Jesus be there?” it made me stop in my tracks and then I answered with of course! He will be there in the light in every face of every person there. She was on the edge of her seat examing every face during the service.

  12. Ellen says:

    KC, powerfully and perfectly put from my experiences as wel!

  13. Amanda says:

    What a great post. Oh how I hope you’ll share some of the ways you “train up your children” in the days ahead. Your blog is such an encouragement – I love it!

  14. Kate says:

    Thank you so much for the encouragement! I lack in leading 100% all the time and it ways heavey on my heart. There is no greater gift we can give any child than that of knowing the savor.

    Great post!

  15. Donna J. Ward says:

    Thank you for such thought provoking words….
    I was diligent in my teachings as a young parent, but now as a parent of children who have flown the nest, I find after reading your words, that I am failing them. Now, when they need God’s guidance even more, why have I not strongly encouraged my children to find a new church family within their new cities? Seems they are straying and I will need to visit and encourage the looking….. thank you for your words and for the heaviness in created in my heart. God is so good.

  16. Alexi says:

    Loved this post. My husband & I don’t have children yet, and I often wonder how to raise a child that “gets it” and truly loves the Lord. Great motivation for the future. Will be bookmarking this for the future.

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