Thursday, May 16, 2013

Children are GIFTS: Part 4

Meet my friend, Nicki! I have invited her to post here all week to continue the celebration of Mothers.

Nicki and her husband, Brad, are faithfully raising three cheerful kids.

I love her comforting smile, her humble determination, and her rumbling hunger for more of God's Word. I know you'll enjoy this week-long study of Biblical Motherhood.
We're looking at five moms in the Bible and learning how to grow as a parent. Children are GIFTS. Each day this week, we'll look, at a different letter in the word "GIFTS".
Here's Nicki...

G is for God-centered (Click here for Monday's post.)
I is for Individuality (Click here for Tuesday's post.)
F is for Fear or Faith (Click here for Wednesday's post.)

T is for Teach.

Today I want to talk about Eunice, Timothy's mother who is mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:5. Paul writes to Timothy to encourage him and says, "I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother, Lois, and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues in you.” Eunice taught Timothy just as her mother had taught her the greatest commandment which is “to love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your might.”

We spend so much time teaching our kids. We teach them their colors, ABC's, numbers. I call out 3 lists of spelling words and spend endless hours helping my kids translate English to Spanish. I drive them to baseball, to gymnastics, and then piano. While all these things are good, we must never hold any education at a higher value than God and His Word.

One night as I was lying in bed, God said, "You spend all this time teaching your kids all these things that are important by worldly standards, but how much time do spend teaching them about Me and My Word?" I knew then I had to change the way I parented.

We have now started reading a chapter a day from the Bible most days. I also try to encourage them to have daily quiet times.

We pray more as a family.

We have started to memorize scripture together. On the way to school we have been trying to memorize the book of Jonah. We have been doing it almost a year and are still not done. Maybe by the time they graduate we will have memorized it:)

The most important change I made is that I just try to bring everything back to God. When we see a butterfly in the yard or when we strike out in the game. When we make a good grade on a test or when we don’t. When things go like we plan or when they don't. I want my kids to know that my highest priority is God.

About a year ago, we got our kids an Xbox. It wasn’t long until they started asking for mature rated games. They said, “All our friends have them and it’s just cussing, we can turn down the volume.” I get tired of always being the mom that says, “No”. As I was sitting there trying to figure out a response, it hit me. (Still to this day I know it was the Holy Spirit because I don’t ever have creative parenting ideas.) I said, “Boys, I want you to pray for a week, and let me know what God leads you to do. I feel like there is a reason why these games are rated mature, and if they are rated mature by the world’s standard, how much more should we be cautious of them? If God says you can get the game then I will gladly go buy it for you.”

As my two boys walked out of the room, I prayed, "God, you better let their answer be No!"

It wasn’t five minutes until my son, the perfectionist, came in and said, “Mom, I don’t think we should get the game.” Then it was a little longer for the younger son. He is my more stubborn child, so it probably took a day or so before he came to find me. His little lip quivered as he whispered, “Mom, I wanted the answer to be 'yes', and I kept praying that it would be 'yes', but I know the answer is no.”

Thank you Jesus for speaking to my kids! It’s so precious when you see your children begin to have a relationship Christ. We can do absolutely nothing to save our children ... that is a gift from God and a decision between them and God. But we can do as Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. 
 We impress it upon their hearts. After teaching it over and over, it will be etched to stay. Whether or not they accept it is NOT up to you. If you teach them, then you have done your part.

How are you teaching God's Word to your kids?

What's music is playing in your home and car? Need something new? Check out Seeds Family Worship.

Come back tomorrow for the final post in this series:)