As mommas, we are careful to teach our kids while they're young.
We teach them to brush their teeth. Wash behind their ears. Ties their shoes. Chew with their mouths closed. We teach them to say please and thank you. We do our best to equip for the world.
I realized I was going to great lengths to teach them all I could about how to navigate this big world they'll soon be facing on their own, but I was neglecting the most necessary thing: the Word of God.
Before baby girl was born, I would spend time in the Bible with the boys. But three kids + a tired momma soon squeezed out any extra energy I had for walking with them through the Bible. That is until I got a quiet nudging from the Holy Spirit recently.
Deuteronomy 6: 4-9:
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.
My kids go to a Christian school, but it's not the school's responsibility to teach MY children about the Word. We got to church every week, but it's not on the church to be the primary teacher of my children about God. Our role as parents is to impress God's word upon our children's heart.
Sure, we can wait until they get older and let them decide for themselves, but that's not what the Bible requires. Waiting means the impressionable years would have since passed and getting that Word on their hearts is not such an easy task then.
I believe we are to impress the Word on our children's hearts when they're young because that's when it will make its mark best. I think about all the Play Doh that the boys have played with down through the years. New Play Doh is so lovely. It's soft and moldable in your hands. A joy to play with. They would mold the clay in their hands and then stamp it with designs or carve smiles on Play Doh people. Down the line, the new Play Doh would get left out, the tops not put on tightly resulting in dry, hard balls of clay. Hard to mold and carve Play Doh when it's old. It's mostly just a crumbly mess that has to be tossed.
I see my kids hearts like that new Play Doh: pliable and totally ready for the Word of God. This is is why I'm taking every effort to impress it upon their little hearts right now.
So every night before bed, this tired momma pulls out the Bible, gathers the little people and we walk through the Scriptures as they are read aloud. And last night, wouldn't you know what our Bible verses were? Deuteronomy 6: 4-9. Just a little confirmation that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.
And as I asked the boys what this verse meant to them, my oldest recited word for word a New Testament verse that supported what we were studying.
My making an impression is not in vain. And our time together has become a welcome part of their day.
I'm making it my business to walk and talk the Word of God not just during our evening Bible study but also when we're sitting at home and when we are riding in the car. When we wake up and as we get ready for bed. I want their roots to run deep and for them to have a genuine love for God's Word....not just on Sundays (or Saturday nights which is when we go to church). I want the Bible to be woven into their every day lives.