I believe all parents want to love and raise their kids well. Our desire is to give them the best, provide wonderful opportunities for them to experience, and face each challenge with care and love. Parents often seek out many resources: books, podcasts, trainings, many tools. It can become overwhelming and bring to mind all the failures as a parent. I know, I’ve had many failures in my parenting choices, and pursued my fair share of parenting resources. Not that parenting resources are bad, they can just be overwhelming at times.
As I reflected on this topic, a recent morning with my own parents came to mind.
I was blessed to be sitting with both my parents at their kitchen table (they are ages 82 and 81.) The conversation bounced around various topics such as struggles my family is facing, my kids, our extended family and in subtle twists and turns as we talked; topics of Christ enveloped the conversation. My mom shared a book she was reading and how there are still many unreached people. My dad shared how scripture tells us that God is seen in his creation (Romans 1:19-20). Dad shared why he loves farming, “There is a lot of time to think in the tractor. I watch a seed go into the ground, add moisture and a plant bursts out and yields 300 fold or more. God’s provision is bountiful, and He can be seen everywhere in nature.” I then shared how my daughter Oliviah and I saw a double rainbow on our drive into school, and how we talked about Noah and that rainbows remind us of God’s promises and my favorite promise.
I’ve always wanted to be a great parent, but I only see my failures. My parents made mistakes with me and my siblings, but we don’t see those now. Growing up my parents didn’t have family devotions, or a family motto hung on the wall. However, I remember all the ways they brought Jesus into our home. It was by how they lived their lives. My dad saying every Sunday night; turn off the TV we’re going to church! I often sat at my mom’s feet as she studied for her CEF Bible lessons, and on her knee at the neighborhood mom’s Bible study. We watched as my parents cared for a single mom and her kids and allowed young adults to live at our house. Scripture was spoken in our home and referenced often throughout these events.
I saw my mom and dad loving the Lord with their whole heart, the best they could. And I truly believe it is the most powerful form of love we can show our children. When we love God with our whole heart and seek Him out every day, he will show himself. And when we see God and share what we saw with our children, I believe it shows them the most precious love of all.
There are many great tools available to give us support and tangible strategies for raising children. But this year, I want to love the Lord with my whole heart and share “God Sightings” each day. (God Sightings are an old Group VBS saying I learned years ago.)
Maybe you will also consider that as a resolution, the best parenting tip for this year: to focus on loving the Lord your God with your whole heart and sharing it with your children.
Deuteronomy 6: 5-10
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 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. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”Topics: Parenting