Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
– Psalms 127:3
Children are one of the greatest gifts from God. They fill our lives with love, joy, and purpose. They teach us to be selfless, self disciplined, courageous, kind, and humble. When we become parents we are called to lead our lives righteously because now how we behave and the choices we make do not only affect us, but our children as well.
Since I have become a mom I have been able to see many qualities in myself that are less than ideal.. I have realized that if you have any flaws in your character, then it won’t be long before your children reveal them to you. I always used to say the word “stupid”. It never seemed like a problem until I heard my 4 year old daughter say it. My eyes were instantly opened to how awful that word really is.
My oldest daughter has some personality traits that are similar to my own, which makes her much more prone to copying me. I wish I could say that they were all good things that she has learned from me, but that just isn’t true.
So take it from the master of “do as I say, not as I do”, we need to realize that although it is important that we teach our children what is right by our words, it is much more important to teach them by our actions. It may seem as though they don’t hear us when we gossip, or when we say a rude word. We might think they don’t notice when we choose to watch TV instead of read The Word.. but trust me when I say this, they do. They are watching us all of the time. They are watching, and they are also mimicking… Monkey see monkey do.
There are so many qualities that we have the responsibility of instilling in our children. We need to teach them be obedient to God, humble, kind, full of Christ’s love, serving of others, wise, courageous, full of faith, disciplined, and so much more. Sometimes it can seem so overwhelming when we think about how many lessons we must teach them, and how little we are actually able to demonstrate them ourselves. It’s okay though.. The Lord sees how much we try and fail, and He knows that we desire in our hearts to do right, and be great parents… But thank The Lord for His mercy!! He actually lays it out so simple for us. If we are diligent about teaching them this one lesson, and they obey, then they will become everything that The Lord has intended them to be.
The most important thing that we can demonstrate to our children is to love The Lord with all our hearts, soul and mind. It is when we follow this commandment that we will start to see the blessings, and the Fruit of The Spirit become prevalent in our lives. Jesus says to seek the Kingdom first and then everything else will be added unto us. If we make it our main purpose to love God, and to seek His will in everything we do, then He will begin to fill us with His spirit in a stronger, deeper way. Think of it like this, when you first fell in love with your spouse, you probably did everything you could think of to please them and impress them. I bet you were on your best behavior, you learned everything that you could about them, and you wanted to be around them all of the time. This is what our Heavenly Father asks of us. He doesn’t want our relationship with Him to be lack luster, or forced.. He wants us to adore Him, long for Him, be desperate for His presence.
The Lord is so faithful and willing to help us in every area of our lives, but we must first do our part by showing Him that all consuming love. We may not be able to just press a button and feel that way, but through prayer, reading His Word, and really spending quiet time in His spirit, that’s how that love will begin to grow in our hearts.
If we purpose in us to live a life full of this kind of love for our Heavenly Father, and we demonstrate it to our kids, then they will surely follow our lead.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
– Proverbs 22:6
So as you see it’s not reliant on us living our lives in the perfect way.. It’s not about pressuring and nagging our children to strive for perfection, because honestly, they won’t ever obtain it… and we sure won’t either. Yes, it is very important to teach our children about the commandments that The Lord has set out for us, and to explain to them what the Fruits of Spirit are, and why we must desire to have them. But the most important thing that we as parents must do for our kids is to purpose in our hearts to love The Lord with all our might.. to make Him first in every part of our lives.. to spend time everyday, multiple times a day, seeking His face, reading His word, being still in His presence.. They will then see the love, peace, joy, and strength that fills their parent’s souls, and they will want to live a life like that too.
Being a parent is sure not an easy job.. but The Lord knows that, and He doesn’t expect us to be without flaw or blemish.. He knows that in our sinful flesh we will never be able to obtain perfection, but that is why He sent His son Jesus Christ to the cross, that we may be able to find His mercy, love and forgiveness. Through it we would desire to know Him and love Him, and then it is from that Love that every other blessing flows.
What is the number 1 lesson that you desire to teach your children?
Let me know in the comments below!
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
– Matthew 6:33
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