thatmom

real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

how God touches our children

The apostle John wrote “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” and that is the heart’s cry of every Christian mother.  In our own home, our prayer has been that our children would never know a single day when they were not believers and we continue to pray that they will live lives of purpose and repentance, growing in God’s grace daily.  But sometimes we, as parents, wonder why our children do not respond to the truth of Scripture as we present it to them, though we know they have professed Christ as Savior.

When I was in high school, I had a dear friend, Curt, who was absolutely brilliant.  He was also not a believer and could articulate quite well why he didn’t believe in the redemptive work of Christ.  While he was studying at a large, secular university, one night he was alone in his room at his fraternity house and picked up a Bible.  By the time he had read through the Pentateuch, the Holy Spirit had convicted him of his need for a Savior.  God’s written word went straight to my friend’s heart and soul, drawing him to salvation.  Because he was a very cerebral sort of person, I believe God used the written word, straight from the Bible, to draw Curt into a relationship with Him.

I have another friend who suffered terribly at the hands of abusive parents.  Every time she has made giant strides in her relationship with the Lord it has come through building genuine, loving relationships with other believers who have shared the word of God and have testified to its power in their own lives.  For others, God has used His gift to us of music that, when sung, has presented His word in fresh ways to communicate His love and grace.

I believe that our children are unique and precious souls who will receive God’s word to each of them in their own ways.  Isaiah 55:8-11 gives us this promise: “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, “declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eaters, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:” It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Our responsibility as parents is to discover the special ways that God’s word touches our individual children and how best to prepare them to hear and receive it.  If your children are researchers at heart, showing them how to use a Strong’s concordance will thrill them and give them the opportunity to experience the delight of discovering the intricacies of God’s word.  Helping them memorize verses such as Jeremiah 31:3 and 1 John 3:1 will speak to the heart of those children who respond best to words of affirmation. Teaching them in word and in deed by giving gifts to God and others will prepare their hearts for receiving God’s gift of Jesus and will show them the joy of serving others in His name.

We must also do all that we can to not discourage them from responding to His word.  Sometimes Sunday mornings can be the most tense and unspiritual hours of the week.  I know, first hand, that setting out clothes on Saturday night, preparing, ahead of time, a delicious and special Sunday dinner, giving everyone a nutritious breakfast, and playing soothing music helps to prepare all of us for worship. 

I also believe that the best place for a child on Sunday morning is sitting next to his parents during worship.  Learning how to pray corporately, enthusiastically singing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs, and showing them how to take sermon notes all prepare a child’s heart for receiving the word.  Sometimes we think they aren’t old enough to get anything out of the service, but the spirit of God speaks to their hearts and spirits in ways we cannot understand.  My mom tells the story of being just a small child on her mother’s lap during a revival service and, to this day, remembering the spirit of the Lord as it met her little heart in that place!

I know that there are certain stages of infancy and childhood when a little one is just too wiggly or has just discovered his vocal chords. That is when you spend time walking him around the church narthex, just trying to keep him still. And, of course, those same little ones will have their hearts hardened if their little cheeks are squeezed or their thighs are pinched so that should never be something we do.  But creatively and gently showing them God’s love and graciously treating those noisy little ones in the same manner you would treat an elderly person who “whisper shouts” all through a service will say more to your children than words could ever say.

We will do well to remember two things:  God in His timing and in His own way, brings His elect to the knowledge of Christ.  And, as parents, our role is to prepare the soil of their hearts, to receive His touch.

Copyright 2007

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