Thursday, October 11

How will I shape my children and their faith?

Other parts from this series, Finding Faith
I. Where do you come from?
II. Do you own your faith?
III. Where is my faith going?
IV. How will I shape my children and their faith?

Finding Faith Series Deut 4 29 with Jess at LifeintheWhiteHouseI touched on this idea a bit in my last post, a very little bit. To me, this is something I pray about more than I do my own faith. This, to me, is the very crux of my existence. How and what will I do that will help my children become the followers of Christ that I long for them to become?

I honestly lay awake at night, sometimes working myself into a frenzy about all the ways I am FAILING miserably in this.
A while back I read a book entitled “When You Rise Up” by RC Sproul, which revolutionized my entire thinking about raising successful children. It redefined, for me, what I think of as “Success”.

I think this is one of the biggest points of contention between Christian parents: Do I raise a child with the idea of making them successful by the world’s standard? or by God’s standard?

But so many parents, myself included, get blinded by raising children that will be successful in the world, with only a passing, secondary thought to their success by God’s standard. Which is more important to me, that they live a God-Glorifying life or one that is successful and self-serving? God-Glorifying absolutely. Hands down. No argument.

But what about their success in the world? They need to be educated, they need to know how to function and operate in this world. Yes, they do. But through living a God-Glorifying life they will be successful and ultimately better able to function in this world.

To the world, my husband and I are not successful people. We scrape by each month, with nothing saved for our retirement. We live in and old house, that is literally falling down around us {our back foundation is crumbling under a poorly constructed addition}. Our cars are not fancy. Our clothes are not designer. We are that family that others look at and think, “Sheesh, and they have HOW MANY kids?!”

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
~Matthew 6:26

Now, I’m not saying we’re successful by God’s standards, we fail miserably at living a life that glorifies Him. BUT we seek to trust Him. We seek HIM. We know that He will take care of us and provide for us, through and in all things. Even when we start to get a bit squeamish about being able to pay the bills.

Honestly, I can’t guarantee that my children will grow to love the Lord as they should, glorifying Him in all things, trusting Him through all things. But, I can start by redefining what I consider to be success, to be most important. We can live in abject fear that if they are not drilled on worldly subjects that they will end up homeless and incapable of providing for themselves and their families. Or we can trust in God’s faithfulness.

Now, does that mean I’m going to let formal education take a back seat, not bothering to educate my children in the subjects of worldly success? No, it doesn’t. In order to glorify God, we must educate ourselves and our children in His word. We have to know how to fight against our enemies, and the way we do that is by knowing our enemies and how and why they do and believe as they do.

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on 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.”
~Deuteronomy 6:6-7

So what exactly are we DOING then?

Right now, we’re memorizing bible verses, we’re reading the bible together, we’re reading bible verses, we sing songs that praise God, we talk about the things that God wants us to do, what things we can do for others to show them God, we spend time together, as a family, praying and worshiping {it is for this reason that my children won’t attend a Sunday school class that takes place during worship}.

We have begun doing the little things, which will, prayfully, turn into the big things. And even at these things we fail miserably, but that’s where trusting Him comes in. Even if we don’t do these things all the time, we are trusting that the time that we do spend in these things to Him.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little series of mine. That it has, in some way encouraged you as well as made you think. I’m sure there will be more to this someday, but for now I rest all of these words in His hands, to do with as He pleases.

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