When we ask ourselves as mothers what is the number one thing we want for our children, most of us would answer something along the lines of, "I want my kids to know the Lord." Almost everything we do is with this goal in mind. We make sure they are in church. Some rely on a Christian school. Others think that the right friends or activities will ensure they grow to know the Lord. I'm not saying that any of these things are wrong or won't help in the process. But if we want our kids to understand who God is, it has to start at home...with us.
My husband and I have been having this discussion a lot lately. When we look at the world around us, and even look at our own family members, we sometimes worry that our children are doomed to fail spiritually. What makes us different from anyone around us? What magic secrets do we know that will ensure our kids won't end up struggling with the same mistakes we are witnessing all around us? The only answer I can come up with is that we have to be honest...with our kids, with ourselves, and most importantly with God. We can't tell our kids one thing and live another...all the while expecting them to grow in truth.
So, what's the truth? I guess that's not really the question because we all know the "Truth." But how do we give that to our children? How do we ensure that they come to know and understand that truth for themselves?
Now, before I continue, let me preface this by saying, “I AM IN NO WAY AN EXPERT ON THIS SUBJECT!!!” These are just the thoughts of a mother of five young children who wonders constantly if I'm totally messing their lives up with my failures! But I'm praying everyday that God's mercy and grace extend far beyond my life and into the lives of the ones He's placed in my care. Surely He knew what He was doing and took into account how many times I would let Him (and them) down.
I think that if we focus more on our spiritual well-being, then our kids' spiritual well-being will follow suit. It's like the pyramid analogy someone gave me before I got married. God is at the top of that pyramid and you and your husband are at the bottom on either side. The closer each of you gets to the Lord the closer you will become to each other. I've used that on my kids a number of times as well, usually at the end of an argument that they've had with each other. But it's the same in relation to us and our kids. The closer we grow to the Lord the closer they will too, because whether we like it or not...they are following us! We can't rely on their friends, schools, family or even our churches to teach them about God. Yes, it's great to have all of these things to back up what they learn at home. But what are they learning at home...from us? That is the real question.
If we want our children to love the Lord, then we must love the Lord first. If we want them to have a genuine relationship with Christ, then we must have a genuine relationship with Christ first. Do you see where I'm going here? Whatever we desire for our kids must first be evident in our own lives. If not, we're part of the old saying, "Just do what I say...not as I do," and I think you know where that leads.