Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 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. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
This has been on my heart over the past few days. This is what I strive for. I've heard this so many times, especially in certain sermons at Ridge church where we always talk about partnering with parents. And how important it is for us, as parents, to teach our children.
I know that I want my children to be teachable. I want them to love to learn. I want them to be humble and open and awestruck at the things they're learning.
And then it hits me. Something I've known and maybe...forgot?
They will only be teachable if I am teachable.
I'm their model right now. That scares me to death on most days, but there's no point in hiding from reality. The truth is that David and I have the most influence on our children right now. And since I'm home with them for basically all but 20ish hours per week -
I really am their biggest influence.
Wow. Soak that up for a minute.
This won't always be the case, so I want to make the most of the time I have to influence my kids.
Here are some things I've been doing with my kids - they're not a list of what you should or shouldn't be doing, they're just things I do. And I'm sure there are many other opportunities I'm missing to live out Christ with my kids. If you have any suggestions, please share!
*I pray with them whenever we get in the car. Just about the day or about something heavy on my heart or a prayer of thanksgiving for something really cool that happened. The fact is, I talk to God with my kids. And in the car, they're a captive audience. :)
*Xander, David and I pray together each night. We each take a turn. I can hear mine and David's words coming out in Xander's little boy speech. It's so sweet. And teaches me how small-minded and narrowly focused my views can be sometimes. :)
*I pray over Amelia Jayne, especially at nap and bedtimes.
*We pray together before meals. Just one more place to fit in prayers with my kiddos.
*I serve at church on Sundays and beyond. This is something I want my kids to learn. It's important that we serve others and live out our love for the Creator of the universe. I want to be a good example for them when it comes to my actions, as well as my words.
*I take my kids to church on a regular basis. Enough said.
*I send my kids to a Christ-centered preschool/daycare.
*I leave my kids with a babysitter every Wednesday night so that David and I can attend a small group. I know it sounds weird to say that I do this "with" my kids, when really I guess I do this for my kids. I think it shows them that time spent in fellowship with other Christians, studying God's word and learning more about Him is important. Xander uses "Bible study" and "small group" as part of his normal vocabulary now. :)
What things do you do with your kids to teach them to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength?"