Thursday, May 28, 2009

Live Life In Him

My daughter recently posted about the benefit of children seeing real, bonafide, genuine faith in Jesus and the Word of God lived out before their eyes in daily measure.

It is inestimable in value if you hope to see your children move into their own real, bonafide, genuine faith in Jesus and the Word of God.

It is what Moses was talking about in Deuteronomy 6:
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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 upon 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. 10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you--a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant--then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Parents ask me regularly, "What is the secret for guaranteeing that your children will follow God?" "What should I do for devotions, allow for TV, for friendships?" "How did you lead them to Christ? What booklets did you use? Are youth groups necessary? Are they detrimental?"

All those things need to be considered, and one way or another, they will be addressed, either with great care and thought, or with little concern. I suggest care and thought. But let me free you from undue stress regarding these issues.

The above passage from Scripture does not a promote a program or method. Moses was not referring to learning a set of responses from the latest greatest parental guide. He was not suggesting the need to memorize all the right answers according to the leading theologian or Christian psychologist of the day. And get this! He did not even imply that a child's success depended upon wearing the right clothes with every inch accounted for, avoiding the wrong movies, or living untouched by sin (if you figure out how to manage that one, write a book please!)

No, he starts out by saying that God is God, and we should love Him with all our heart, soul, and strength. That's the program, the method, and therein lie the answers and responses. Why?

I suggest this: If you love anyone or anything to the fullest extent possible in everyone of the capacities listed, it will absolutely spill over into everything you do, say, and think. It will show, it will be evident, it will effect your every decision. It must. It will. Without a doubt.

And the kids will see that love. They will accept that love. They will learn that love.

They will one day love what you love because they will first see you experiencing the reality of our wonderful Father in Heaven. They will discover that He answers prayer, heals hurts, forgives sin, and restores broken relationships. He is a fount of Wisdom, a tower of strength, a refuge in time of trouble. And soon, He will become to them what they saw Him to be for you.

But it begins by them seeing. You are their example of faith. Your boast of knowing Jesus will either ring true to His glory as they see your daily love for Him, or it will sound as an empty gong.

So do yourself and them a favor. Love Him with all your heart, and soul, and strength. Everyone benefits when you do.

7 Comments:

Blogger Quinne said...

Hi Darlene :) A wonderful post! Thank you for the encouragement. Love, Q

10:28 PM  
Blogger Cassandra said...

Amen! Darlene, I am one that loves books, principles, and deep conversations about these things. I always come back to the truth that if I can point the direction to relationship with the Lord they are going to be better than good. Although homelife wasn't perfect, my Mom was always seeking the Lord in decisions, and I also witnessed changes in her life that impressed me as a child. We faced both accusation and approval for decisions regarding some of the things you mentioned, but I felt safe because my Mom knew the Lord. She read her Bible every morning, but we never had family devotions. She encouraged us to pray and find peace with God whenever we were going through a hard time. She worked a lot, but when she was home, she gave us her ear and counsel. I found Christianity to be a relationship as I watched my Mom. I strongly believe so many things are a matter of heart connection with the Lord, and I have my Mom to thank for that. I hope it's ok I shared so much :) But your thoughts validate my own as I am now navigating the sometimes wavy waters of the teen years. With love and respect for you,

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Cassandra said...

*I spoke with my mom and she points out that we did have family devotions as far as she recalls, twice :).

8:36 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Thank you so much for this post. Last Wednesday I took Emarie to the Dr. for one of her check ups. When I told our Dr. that Emarie will not be getting a Heb. B shot, she wanted to know how I could be sure that my children will have the same convictions as me (remain pure for marriage) and this really got me thinking. Thank you for teaching me to be a better mom.

6:38 AM  
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