In one sense we can do nothing to ensure our children’s salvation – that is a work of the Holy Spirit. We can do nothing to change our children’s hearts but we can nurture and prepare the soil of their hearts.
We know we have been given the task to
- Raise up our children in the paths that they are to go
- We are to tell our children of the good things God has done
- We are to talk constantly of His ways
There are many words to parents in the Bible along these thoughts.
And, ye Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture
and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
One of the surest ways to provoke our children to wrath is to be two-faced. Our children see hypocrisy very quickly. Therefore if we want our children to love the Word of God, to pursue the things of God we must be doing so, truthfully, ourselves.This is the number one thing we can do for our children – we must be walking the talk. We must be living our lives according to what we believe. Keeping in mind the thought that it is all a work of God.
Life is more caught than taught
At times I have wondered about my own personal daily devotions – just like many other mums – we struggle to fit in that private time. So now, with my children older and the privilege of more time to myself, I can look back and see that the things that I did do for my own daily devotion have actually had an impact on my children.
Since I became a Mum, I have had my devotions in the middle of the house, at the dining room table. My kids could see me. Though this meant that I didn’t always get that private time that I sometimes yearned for, it did mean that the children saw me reading, studying, and praying. The negative side of this is that there were interruptions.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time but painful, later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11
So instead of seeing those interruptions as inconveniences they were moments of training the child to respect my time with God. It was a discipline on the child and it was a discipline on myself to train the child.
This started from a very young age and by preschool age they were sitting doing quiet things until it was their own time with God (with Mummy or Daddy). Devotions with Young Children. Nowadays we have a family rule that it is all quiet till 7.00am. This is when everyone has the opportunity for his or her own daily Bible Devotion. After that time, music goes on, chores happen, breakfast starts and if you are not finished with God, you have the freedom to continue in amongst the noise or to move to a quiet place.
We can have some excitement, as parents, when our children practice the daily habit of meeting with God; when they take ownership of their walk with God though we must remember that we don’t just tick this off our “parenting to-do list” – encouraging our children in the Lord is a discipline, even a joy, that we must commit to for the rest of our life.
Even after our children have their own Quiet Times we still have a large role to play in their life. Our children are our Disciples – they still need to be mentored – to be held accountable and to be encouraged on to greater things in God though this now comes from a relationship, strengthened by our mutual love of God. It is at this point that the children live as members of the Body, one in Christ.
This is a challenging thought to parents
- Can I relate to my children as Christians?
- Can I share my spiritual journey with them as I fellowship with them?
- Can I receive a spiritual challenge from them as I would any other member of the body?
- Can I let someone else have spiritual input into his or her life as well?