Every once in a while, amid my stacks of unwashed dishes, piles of laundry and uber-sticky floors, I have a moment of clarity. It’s like the secret door to sanity is revealed, and through that doorway I see the illuminated pathway of motherhood appearing to me—the things that really, truly matter. Those things that my children MUST learn from me, even if I go to my grave working them, instilling them and praying them into their hearts and minds.
It is way too easy for me to get caught up with schoolwork and how my daughter is progressing in math. (God help me!) Far too often I find myself engulfed in the discipline issue of the day—which currently, is choosing a GOOD ATTITUDE over a really stinky, self-centered one. (I mean, I’m teaching my kids how to do that. Just in case you were wondering…) But, all that stuff is secondary. There are some essential, foundational things that I must impart to my children before any of the other stuff matters. These are the glowing steps I see on my pathway of motherhood. The things that I REALLY want my children to know:
1. Who God Is
I want my son and my daughter to know God for who He says He is. I don’t want to counterfeit their relationships with Him by giving them someone else’s opinion or experience. I want to show them who God says He is from His Word—and then point Him out in real life when He shows up. If God says He is faithful, then I want my kids to see, hear and know down deep that He IS faithful. If God says He is Healer, then I want my kids to see their bodies healed and other people’s sicknesses and diseases obliterated. If God makes a claim about Himself, then I want my children to experientially know Him in that way!
2. Who God Says They Are
Before life has the chance to throw some low-blows at my children, I am determined that they have an unwavering sense of identity. It is one thing for me to tell them—and I believe with all my heart that telling them and calling out destiny in them is one of my main jobs—but, I believe that knowing who they are because God reveals who they are carries so much more weight. I want them to comprehend in their minds, but KNOW in their hearts that they are precious. They are loved. They are chosen. They are irreplaceable. They have exciting callings on their lives. They can do amazing things when they walk with the Spirit. They don’t have to be afraid of darkness when they let the Light live in them.
3. How To Hear God’s Voice
If I can train my children’s ears to pick up on the frequency of God’s voice, then I believe I will have succeeded as their mother. If my children can hear God’s voice, then they can have faith to believe Him. They can have vibrant, powerful relationships with Him that will carry them through this life in the best possible way. No matter what trials or hurts come against their respective hearts in the future, they will make it through intact if they can just hear God. When they turn their ears to God’s voice, they hear truth. They get revelation into their situations and into God’s Kingdom at work all around them. I desperately want my children to be familiar with God’s voice and His manner of speaking with them individually.
The amazing thing is that kids are open for all three of those things. They have a hunger to know God. They don’t debate you about why God’s existence is not “scientifically proven.” No, they receive God very simply with faith. Don’t miss the window of opportunity with your kids while they are young. Be intentional about teaching them these things!
“How can I do that?” you ask?
Worship. Worship is turning your focus and your affections toward something; in this case, on the only Deserving One. Need some practical suggestions?
- Keep worship music as a staple in your home on CD, DVD, mp3, internet, phone and just good ol’ family sing-alongs. Model for them what a heart engaged in worship to the King really looks like. (Not sure, yourself? It’s never too late to begin!)
- Pray out loud about everything with your kids. Point out the ways that God is answering their prayers.
- Bring the conversation back around to God. Have your children ask God what He thinks about situations, actions, achievements, etc.
- Perk your ears up anytime your kids mention something God told them—talk about it and encourage them EVERY time, even if what they are hearing is silly or not quite what it should be. It takes a little practice to tune in and hear, so give them grace.
- Fill them up with the Word. Memorize short Scriptures with little ones–and add motions or music to help them get it. As they get older, give them more! My three year old could recite all of Psalm 23—and so can yours if you teach them.
All these suggestions are ways to cultivate WORSHIP. Be a worshipper and invite your kids to join you. They’ll come with you! And you will be very pleased at the fruit that their little hearts will produce as they thrive in your God-centered home.
Pray this with me:
Father, I really want my kids to know You! Help me teach and train them in ways to worship You, hear You and be like You. I turn my heart and my affections on You today and I worship You, God. You are wonderful and You are near. Fill my home with Your presence and teach us Your ways. We are Yours—each of us in this family. I pray covering over my little ones who have not chosen You yet, that You would woo their hearts. Call each of my children’s names and give them soft hearts to respond to You, God. I declare that our house will be a place of worship to You, Lord, and that You will be first in our hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.