I had a wake up call a few weeks ago as a parent.
I can’t create a relationship with God for my child.
It sounds so basic, right? Actually, at times I tend to think we ignore this one simple concept.
As a parent who feels like they have a serious responsibility to raise up children that love God with all of their heart, I tend to feel like it’s all on me.
I have to say all the right things, do all the right things, create the perfect environment for my child to do the right things. Do you ever feel that pressure as a mom?
A few weeks ago we had a guest minister come and preach at our church. My 11 year old son came home and quietly followed me into my bedroom. He sat down on my bed and said he wanted to talk. Some things that were said in the sermon really stood out to him, and he felt like parts of the sermon were life changing to him.
You know what?
I spent 11 years, pouring myself into this child, trying to train him up in the way he should go, and it took 45 minutes of hearing someone expound the word of God to really change him.
The following week Israel was practically perfect. He worked so hard on getting along with his siblings, he was respectful to Sean and me, and he was reading his scriptures without being told. He received so many good checks on his obedience chart from Character Badges!
It helped me to understand -you can’t force these things to happen. You can encourage them, pray for them, spend hours talking to them about the right and wrong way, but ultimately God has to reach down and touch their hearts.
I find it interesting that all of my children heard the same sermon, but only one was really touched by it. The rest left and it was just, well, it was just another sermon. You never know what will touch your child, but we have to keep providing opportunities for these life changing experiences to take place, don’t we?
I’m not writing this to encourage moms to sit back and do nothing now. You can’t count on these experiences to happen despite yourself; but be open to letting your children be instructed and changed by people other than yourself, and by situations your not responsible for.
This being said, I’m still grateful for the resources I have used thus far. This isn’t an all or nothing post. It’s mainly a post to encourage you mothers to keep praying for your children, recognizing that sometimes God is bigger than you think, and He will touch your child in a way outside of your plan.
With six children we have spent hours talking about getting along together. It is so exhausting to have children that fight and quarrel all day long. Some of my favorite studies we have done (and will do over again!) are My Brother’s Keeper, and Because I Said So. These teach obedience to parents, and a love for your siblings.
These studies are great to do together before a school day starts, or in the evening as a family!
While these studies are great, it can be easy to do one study and not have your child truly retain what they learn. This is where Character Badges comes in. It’s designed to help you daily build good habits in your children. I find this supports any studies out there you do, because it’s helping train your children in good habits such as respectfulness, diligence, helpfulness, obedience, kindness, etc.
Take heart dear mother. You have a huge responsibility to raise your children in the Lord, but God is so merciful to send those who can come alongside us, and reinforce these things to our children, and even present them in a different way. Embrace this. Take courage that you are not alone. Teach your children to respect their pastor, teacher, or mentor over them. A change in your child’s heart might be right around the corner!