For this school year, I want my children to learn more than math, reading, science, and how to spell.
I want to teach them…
1. I love them. We have this thing, my kids and I. No matter where we are, or what we are doing, I will sometimes take a deep breath and gasp, “Guess what!?” Usually they will stop and say, “What?” with a hushed expectancy. I can see their little minds working….Are we in trouble? Is she going to surprise us with something? When I have their attention for a second, I shout with enthusiasm and joy, “I love you!” The older two will roll their eyes and go back to their conversion. But I can see the smile on their faces. Hopefully it lingers in their hearts: Mommy loves me.
2. God loves them. Yes, God wants His best for them. Yes, He wants obedience. But more than sacrifice, God wants a heart that sees into Who He is. Psalm 50:8; 23 “I have no complaint about your sacrifices or the burnt offerings you constantly offer…..But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” I want them to know a God who desires the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving because He is a God who loves them. More than anyone.
3. God is sovereign. Recently, I taught Titus’ Sunday morning class. Explaining God’s sovereignty to six and seven-year-olds can be tricky. I felt the lesson did a great job as they explained: “God is in control of all the little details.” In the life of Joseph we see God’s sovereign control. Not only did He orchestrate nations, kings, and famines, He was in control of the small details of Joseph’s life. From the simple choices of a woman that landed him in jail to strange dreams of a couple of friends, God was working. I pray my children see God in the smallest details of their own life. He is big enough to care for both the small and big.
4. They are forgiven and grace is free. I pray I can be a grace-filled parent. Not giving my children excuses or free passes, but grace. I allow for second-chances. I give them instruction and *try* not to fly off the handle when they make a mistake. I desire to show them God’s grace. Forgiveness doesn’t come with pre-conditions. If they wrong me, yes, I ask for an apology, but grace is in the next breath. I offer my forgiveness with no strings attached. That is, after all, the way my Father offers it to me.
5. Their words matter. Now that three out of four are talking, we deal with a lot of words flying through the air. Words matter. It is a lesson I am still learning. Less is more when it comes to speaking. I desire to teach my children the consequences of a hurtful word, the power of a word fitly spoken, and how our words can be used to build something beautiful in the hearts of others.
6. They can trust God and His Word. I used to hide away and read my Bible in my room, or late at night, after they were in bed. Although I still try to have a “quiet time” during naps, I will also try to let them see me reading God’s Word first thing in the morning. They know mommy reads her Bible before we start our day. More than seeing me read, I want them to see me live it. I want to teach them God’s Word is first place in our choices, but also first place in our hearts. My ultimate desire for them is found in Psalm 119:16: “I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word.”
If you could teach your child ONE lesson – what would it be?
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