Reflecting on growing up, I remember life changing moments… packing up and moving from several of our homes to begin new adventures in new places with new friends. I remember my parents opening up and sharing when we were struggling with finances and that as a girl of 10 or 11 realizing for the first time that God provides even in the toughest of situations.
Now that I am a mother of two little ones, I think back on those great moments that lasted from my childhood. Some of my strongest times of growth as a child and teenager were when my parents would talk to us about what God was doing for our family and what they were learning and growing in. I loved when my parents were real with us girls.
It makes me rethink a lot of what we talk to our kids about. Are we trying to show them a perfect side of their parents and the world instead of showing them how much we need God, and that without Him, things are disastrous? Are we being real with them and apologizing when we lash out or make wrong decisions while trying to do it all in our own strength?
In Deuteronomy 6, Moses is passing on God’s commandments to the Israelites. In verses 4-7, Moses says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
In all we do, we are to display God and His truth ALL the time. If we do this, our children will see these things and our prayer can be that God would work even through our weaknesses and change us by the mighty power of God. As they observe us, our children will KNOW that GOD is the only mighty and perfect one.
When I think about my son, Daniel, I can only imagine what goes on in his little 3-year-old brain. But, I do know how much quality time as a family is already meaning to him. His new favorite is going to a coffee shop and hanging out as a family. He loves going on “dates” with me where we get hot chocolate, sometimes some jelly beans, and then just talk. These are the times that I want to continue having with my children and as a family as the years go by. I want a relationship with my children that they are able to talk to me about what life is throwing their way and that they will be able to hear me share my thoughts and what God has been teaching me.
Through vacations, family nights, “dates” with a child one-on-one, and being real with day by day life, our children will hopefully be getting to know God in a whole new way. Because this will give us time with our children to be sharing God’s Word and His commandment of loving God and others as we sit in our homes, as we walk by the way, as we lie down, and as we rise each morning. And then we can go from those times to times spent sharing about Jesus with those around us at the park, in the mall, or at a coffee shop. Think of what memories and moments our children will have if we pray each morning for strength to do just that!
We can’t change our children’s lives, but God is mighty and awesome and as we follow Him, He can work even through our failures and turn them into beautiful stories that might draw our children closer to God now or in the future. Let’s be praying God would allow us to be a part of great moments that last in our children’s lives! Moments that they will pass down to their children and grandchildren… telling of God’s perfect and unending faithfulness in everything we go through!
Natalie graduated with her Elementary Education degree in 2008 and now serves as a missionary to college students with Master Plan Ministries. Outside of ministry, she loves taking pictures of her husband and two children, scrap booking photo memories of vacations and day-by-day moments. She is so thankful for the opportunity to be a mentor to women who are faced with the peer pressure and endless life choices of daily college life, and is excited to see God’s transforming work as He shows His grace and love to these students and prepares them for the years ahead.
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