Aren’t children a blessing? Be it our biological children, adopted children, bonus children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and children we have in our circles, we have the privilege of being a part of their lives. Children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3 NTL). My husband and I had the privilege of adopting our nephew when he was just two months old. Now he is two and a half, and it’s as if he has always been a part of our lives. What joy and energy he brings to our days, and what an honor it is to be his mom.
Having someone so precious in my charge, I can’t help but want to give him the best I have to offer. What does that look like, Biblically? The Bible says we should teach our children to love God with all their heart, soul, and strength.
“These are the commands, decrees, and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children, and their children after them may fear the Lord your God [emphasis added] as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy a long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey [emphasis added] so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength [emphasis added]. 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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:1-9 NIV
What a blessing to think that my faith can be my sons! What a joy it is to think of him loving the Lord his God with all of his heart, soul, and strength! But it also says this doesn’t happen automatically. We must “be careful to obey.” Children are a great responsibility, and we must be diligent and intentional in our efforts to “bring them up in the way they should go” (Proverbs 22:6). I think this looks different for each family and different personalities, but the principle is the same. Talking about the love of Jesus when I’m getting him out of bed, and when we sit down for breakfast, and when we are riding bikes in the driveway, and when we lay down for bed, and to buy shirts that say “I love Jesus” and to sing songs, and to buy décor that showcases my faith sounds like a lot of work. I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it in these terms. But I don’t believe it has to be that burdensome. The Bible also tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
We can be and provide all of these things for our children by first making them true in our hearts, souls, and minds. That happens by us first as parents taking the time to sit at Jesus’ feet, learn from Him, and be filled by Him. Then we will also have what we need to fill and teach our children. Don’t go out and buy a case of W.W.J.D. bracelets just yet. (Am I showing my age? Are those still a thing?) Instead, go and grab your Bible and spend some still and quiet time alone with our sweet Savior. Let Him enrich and teach you so you can enrich and teach your children.
CHM Guest Contributor