Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Early Will I Seek Thee

Parenting is not for sissies!  I've been accused of taking it too seriously, but I really don't believe that's possible. To know that I'm responsible for setting 6 souls on their path to know the God Who created them is a bit overwhelming, and it's especially hard because I am a sinner.  I'm saved and have faith, but how can I pass along that faith to them?  I want them to know that I'm a Christian, but how can I point them directly to Christ, rather than just my pitiful example of Christianity?  I train them, make sure they're clean and fed and safe, I teach them, school them, groom them..... but ultimately, I can not choose for them to be followers of Christ.  It's up to them individually.  God doesn't have grandchildren, only children.

Rather than subject them to the schizophrenic, ever-evolving (or perhaps "eroding" would be a better word) pop psychology methods of child evangelism and youth groups and children's church, Jason and I have trusted them to the same Holy Spirit that saved both of us, and all the generations before us.  God hasn't changed, and neither has His method of salvation, so we've tried to give them a life rich in God's Word, Holy Ghost inspired preaching, and prayer.....oh, how we need prayer.  He and I aren't perfect, but God's Word is.

One evidence of salvation is a hunger for God's Word.  I can remember, as a teen, when God truly opened up His Word to me, and I began getting up early (5 am) every morning before school to devour and memorize Scripture.  I wouldn't take anything in exchange for those days.  That experience changed my life and spared me so much of the grief that my teen peers suffered.  I've prayed that He would do the same for my children.

One challenge I've discovered parenting in the technology age, is the constant distraction of media and devices.  It's overwhelming if not tamed.  In fact, I'm prepared to just say that it is numbing hearts and minds out of the ability to search their souls and let the Holy Spirit of God work on the conscience.  I can remember, as a little child, lying in bed and being convicted of things I'd done, or wondering about heaven and hell, and just pondering on the things of God.  Today's child falls asleep with an iPod or laptop in his hand, focused on worldy pursuits and pleasures with no time for God to speak to them. How sad for these kids, and how negligent of parents!

All my kids have iPods or iPhones, but we've had strict rules from the very beginning.  First of all, no iPods in bed except on weekends.  (We also have a "no spending the night away from home on Saturday night" policy.  We want our kids to be refreshed and ready for worship on Sunday, with their minds on worship and not on pleasure.)  Also, in order to try to cultivate a love for God's Word, we require that they do morning devotions before they touch any kind of device each day. The kids have shown remarkable self-discipline with this, and I consider this proof of their salvation.  Caleb and Madelyn have set their clocks every morning in time for showers and devotions before breakfast for years, but now even the boys have taken this up all on their own.  Seth gets up at 6:30 and Bub at 7:30, whether anyone else is up or not.  Here are the books they are currently using for devotions:

KK and Jason:
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgon

Sis and I:
Seasons of the Heart by Donna Kelderman

Their Lives and Your Lives: Children's Devotion on Bible Characters

Bub isn't quite ready for his own book, but he listens to the audio Bible (KJV), and we also do the Bible Study Guide for all Ages.  I discovered this jewel of a resource when I first started homeschooling Caleb in preschool, and we've used it with all the kids since.  As of now, Seth, Bub, and Summer are going through it.  It's wonderful!

Before we read our Bible story each day and do the worksheet, we read a chapter of this little devotional:
Leading Little Ones to God by Marion Schooland 
It's an unusual devotional, in that it presents mature ideas like the Trinity and original sin in a way that children can grasp it.  All the references are King James, and the illustrations are lovely and inspiring.  It's opened up many opportunities for deep discussions with my 5, 9, and 10 year olds.

As inadequate as I am, I am thankful to serve a Capable God Who can save my kids just like He saved me.

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Ephesians 3:14-19

1 comment:

Melissande said...

I love the "Leading Little Ones to God" book. We have used this faithfully as well. Love your post!