Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
As a little girl I knew the only job I wanted was to be a mother and I couldn't wait for it. Little did I know, it would be the hardest thing I'd ever do-- much more than I bargained for. There is no way I could do it on my own. I have a great husband; He is there to help me with anything and everything. There are grandparents all around that will jump when needed. But greatest of all, I have a faithful God helping me on this path of motherhood!
From the time I had my first born I cherished the verse in Proverbs 22:6. But often I have struggled with the question, "why do so many kids who grew up in Christian homes consider faith boring and irrelevant when they grow up?" I've seen so many turn their backs completely. There are also ones (like me) who graduate and haven't embraced faith as their own. Last week on vacation we visited a church and the speaker talked about this very passage and asked, "Is this verse foolproof," and proceeded to say, "Absolutely not." Only in the past couple of years have I come to grasp the depth and meaning of this verse. I think (and this is my opinion) that it is very much foolproof. I think the bible is God's word and it IS! So, I take this verse as a promise from God that my boys won't depart from him. I don't mean that they won't stray and wander down a different path...we do, after all, have free will. But I have "the hope" that they will always come back!
A few years ago I was okay with just taking my boys to Sunday School and church. They were learning "it" there, right? The more I studied motherhood and read God's word, the more convicted I started to feel. I knew I wasn't doing this verse justice. I had to become intentional and committed... It became very real to me that I didn't have a real relationship with my Creator. I knew about Jesus, because I sat in church, sang all the songs, went to camp, I learned all about Him, but didn't know him... Yikes! I can't teach it if I don't have it. And who is to say that the Sunday School teachers have it? It's very possible they are just reading it out of a book and the Holy Spirit isn't leading them. Scary, huh? I believe I'm very lucky with our teachers, though!
I want more for these little boys that God entrusted into my care! I want to teach them to know, love, and serve Jesus with all their hearts! Deuteronomy 6: 5-7 says, "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 upon 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." It's easy to talk about and teach when you're out on a hike, or a walk in the park, or planting in the garden, even fishing. It's not always easy when you have three cranky boys not wanting to go to bed. Like tonight, Johnny was yelling from his bed wanting me to come to him. I was sleepy and couldn't wait to lay my head on my pillow. I yelled at him to come see me immediately and scolded him for how rude it was to yell like that. Then sent him off back to his bed. All he wanted was hugs, kisses, and a lullaby...which I had already given hugs and kisses. I was convicted for not using that as a teachable moment. Shortly after, I walked to his room to apologize, but it was too late-- he had already drifted off to sleep. God used that as a teachable moment for me; Even though he was sleeping I was able to pray over him and his brothers. God showed me that it's not too late, I can still tell him sorry in the morning. I will be on guard and mindful of my patience and kindness tomorrow, and be gentle with these little hearts I call "My Three Sons."