Happy Friday – it’s Fall Back Into Faith time and our last installment discussing Family. Next week we take up fortune and will close out on “fun.” Family can take on all sorts of forms and sizes, and God is such a supporter of growing strong families of faith. A lot of those families have kids. My immediate family includes triplets. So if your family involves one kid or 18, step kids, foster kids, or any other kind of “kid,” then today is for you.
Being a Godly parent is the biggest challenge I have faced in my whole life. Suddenly, I am not only responsible for my own faith choices, but for raising a generation of children that love God and know Him and His grace and sacrifice and compassion.
I am no parent of the year as you may have picked up as you read the ups and downs of my parenting. I offer no advice of my own on parenting. I do turn to Scripture, and I see one theme repeated over and over again. Bind the Word of the Lord on the hearts of your children. Raise them in the knowledge of the Lord. Teach them at an early age what faith is and how wide and deep is the love of Christ.
Do your best. Daily turn your life back over to the Lord to run so that you can be a better parent. If you’re anything like me, you will make mistakes. Some you will feel terribly about. Some you won’t even realize you are making at the time. But the Bible will never change, so even if you mess up, you are way ahead of the game if you are teaching them daily about the love of their Heavenly Father and the grace and sacrifice that offers them an eternal personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe.
I prayed for years for these children. I prayed Hannah’s prayer in I Samuel as I waited. I love her prayer in response, after Hannah had Samuel: “As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayedA)”> for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole lifeB)”> he will be given over to the Lord.”
All we can do is rely on God for strength and direction. Then love them. And teach them. Teach them every day in every way in every place about the love of God.
Instead of “further reading,” today I wanted to leave you with the actual words, just as we must do in our families:
Deut. 6 – Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. LoveJ)”> the Lord your God with all your heartK)”> and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon 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.
Isaiah 54 – All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace.
Psalm 103 – But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children – with those who keep his covenant and rememberAG)”> to obey his precepts.
Matthew 18 – And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,C)”> it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
Mark 10 – People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”C)”>
Ephesians 6 – Fathers, do not exasperate your children;C)”> instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Colossians 3 – Do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
Proverbs 22 – Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.J)”>
Proverbs 3- My son,A)”> do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart for they will prolong your life many yearsvand bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulnessE)”> never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LordH)”> with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your pathsI)”> straight