By Shelly Burke, Author, Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom's Guide
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As a Christian parent, your greatest task is to bring your children up believing in God and teaching them about Him, His Word and how they can live God-pleasing lives.
How can we as parents make sure that our children know the Lord? How can we instill in them the desire for faith and the desire to live a God-pleasing life?
In Deuteronomy 6 Moses says these words to the Israelites, shortly after receiving the Ten Commandments. “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them 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.” (Deut. 6:6-9)
In other words, we infuse these beliefs in our children by making them a central, integral part of our lives and theirs. I’ve edited the above verses to reflect the reality of life in 2012: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts—in the midst of busy schedules, make time for ME first. Your most important job as a parent is not to make sure your kids are in the most activities, or are the “best” at anything they are involved in. Your job is to impress My commandments on your children so that they will follow them all the days of their lives.
Talk about Me when you are driving your kids to school or activities. Sing Christian songs or memorize Bible verses when you’re in the car. Say prayers with them before they go to bed, and talk about the day’s events. When did they feel My presence? When they bring up a difficult situation, listen…and ask them what I would do. When they wake up, remind them that I will be with them throughout the day and ask them how they will show My love to their friends.
Send them text messages on the cell phone that seems to be tied to their hands. Text them Bible verses of encouragement. Tell them you’ve prayed for them before a test. Load Christian music on the iPod or MP3 player that seems to be attached to their head.
Write Bible verses on notecards and tape them to the mirror in the bathroom, to their bedroom door, the refrigerator, the dashboard of their car.
No matter the age of your children, take every chance to fill them with God’s Word and His love and instructions. As they get older they will be more and more influenced by others. Cody will enter his junior year and Morgan her freshman year of college in the fall. Tim and I won’t have the day-to-day contact with them that we do now. They’ll be exposed to many different people with different beliefs and opinions, probably including some that will contradict their Christian upbringing.
I thank God that both of our children were brought up in the church, and I pray every day that they will remember their Christian background and that God will put Christian friends in their paths.
Also from Deuteronomy: “Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong you days…” (Deut. 5:33)
Dear Lord, please help me to remember that teaching our children about You is the most important thing we can do as parents. Please help us to put that task above all the other things that seem so urgent and important. Please remind us that there are many, many teachable moments every single day; help us to take advantage of all of those moments, so that our children will grow up knowing You and Your will and Your Love. Amen.