"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 6:6-9
My husband and I have been blessed with two daughters who are eight and six, and twin boys who are two and a half. Now that we're confident we're done having children (unless God would move our hearts to have another), we're starting to view parenting a little differently. All of a sudden there is a time limit.
Our boys will be eighteen in fifteen and a half years, or, in other words, in fifteen and a half years, we will be empty nesters. I know that sounds like a long time to some people, but our oldest is already eight and those eight years flew by in a blink of an eye. Before we know it, she'll be graduating from high school and ready to take the next step in life and her sister and brothers will follow quickly behind her.
I don't know about you, but that makes me pause and really think about what we're doing today to prepare our children for the day they move on.
The time to lay the foundation for the rest of their lives is now.
Dave and I have been very purposeful about what we want to teach our children, and as Deuteronomy 6:6-9 tells us, we believe the most important thing we can impress upon them is our faith. To impress means "to fix deeply or firmly on the mind or memory, as ideas or facts."
We don't want our children to simply know about our faith, we want to fix it deeply into their minds and hearts. We want them to be confident in what we believe, and our prayer is that they will choose to follow in our foot steps someday. We want the legacy that we leave for our children, and our children's children, to be one of faith and hope.
So how do we impress upon them our faith? I believe that the answer is found in the second half of this verse. We are to impress it upon them when we sit at home and when we walk along the road, when we lie down and when we get up - at all times.
No matter what we are doing we are modeling our faith for our children. Not just on Sunday morning at church. Not just on Wednesday night at AWANA. Not just when we say our nightly prayers. We are showing our children what faith is at all times, in all ways. Our faith doesn't simply exist in a church building or in an organization. It doesn't exist on one particular day a week. Our faith exists in our hearts when we sit at home, when we leave the house, when we sleep and when we're awake. It's a living breathing thing that never ends.
Impressing our faith on our children is not only something we're instructed to do in the Bible, it's something we need to do to lay the foundation that our children will rely on for the rest of their lives. Without a foundation, the building cannot stand. Without a solid grasp on faith, their lives will be shaky and unstable. Through the strength God offers, we want to make sure we do everything we can to give them a solid start.
Before we know it, our children will be grown up. Now is the time to make a difference.
What about you? Is it easy to model your faith in front of your children? What kind of models did you have as a child?