The Heart of Motherhood: Teaching Children to Know God In the Moments

 

Morning bible reading–check.

Family worship–check.

Church on Sunday–check.

I think these activities are the undergirding of the Christian life and are needful and good.

But I don’t think they are the essence of teaching our children to walk daily with the Lord, to cultivate a living, breathing relationship with the Creator.

It begins with the simplest of observations:

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

If I could summarize what I believe is the most important thing we do as mothers, it would be “teaching God in the moments.”  That is what we are called to.  And the lack of this vision is why so many mothers don’t feel the gravity of their job, and either become bored or exhausted with the .mundane.

I also wonder if it’s why so many children grow up to have “a form of godliness” but deny any power of it.

Are we raising church-goers or disciples of Christ?

“Susie, sit at the table and eat with your mouth closed.”

Yes, but why?

Not necessarily because manners are good; why are they good?  “Because the Bible says to love your neighbor as yourself, and this is one way we show love.”

“Tommy, don’t yell at your brother for knocking down your Lego house.”

Yes, but why?

“Because the Bible says that a man who doesn’t have control over his own spirit is like a city with broken down walls.”

“Mary, please help your sister make up her bed.”

Yes, but why?

“Because the Bible says to serve as Jesus served.”

With God as our strength, let us seek to live it first, then teach “God in the moments” to our children.

21 Responses to “The Heart of Motherhood: Teaching Children to Know God In the Moments”

  1. Kelly says:

    Thank you for posting this….how often do I go throughout my day just giving instructions?!? I’m missing valuable opportunities to disciple my children. Thank you for the reminder.

    ~Kelly

  2. Rachel says:

    Thank you for this post, it’s an excellent reminder to steep our children in God’s Word, and show them it’s relevant to all of their lives.

  3. Mrs W says:

    I have found it interesting that a lot of children who have strayed from the Lord when they grow up and leave home will tell you that their parents always told them to do things and believe things, and never told them why. Since it didn’t make sense to them, they weren’t interested as adults. We want to be sure to explain to our children why things are done a certain way or believed a certain way in our family. I don’t believe that asking why is necessarily a bad attitude on the part of a child, it can be, but a lot of times the child really does want to understand why. I know that because I was one of those children that wanted to know.

  4. Kelly L says:

    This is an awesome reminder. I remember when my child was little coming across a mom who used a verse to teach character. Not just share, but the Bible says do not forget to do good and share with one another Heb 13:16. I was floored! What a novel idea…I quickly stole, I mean implemented it. It teaches early on that God and the Bible are our authority and guide and that scripture memorization is important. Plus, as they grow, they remember the verses too! Great reminder for me…she is 9 and I sometimes forget to give the why now.

  5. Yes, it is very important to know why.

  6. Charity says:

    Kelly, I absolutely love this post! We all need to shout it from our roof tops!! Raise disciples, not “empty, dull, fluff-filled, pew warmers!! It should be every parent’s deep desire to raise their children to know Christ in a real way, in the everyday moments.

  7. Angie says:

    So very true. The word of God is living and active. I believe that its not our words that will ultimately benefit our children, it is what we teach them from God’s word. I have a long-time friend who strayed from the faith in what many Christians would consider a pretty dramatic way. He recently came to repentance, and when I asked him what it was that finally brought him to his knees, he told me it was the word of God that he had been taught as a child. He said that he couldn’t escape the conviction it brought. Even while he slept he would dream about the Scriptures speaking out against his sin. His story has been a huge encouragement to me to speak Scripture to my children whenever I can.

  8. kimberly in idaho says:

    Excellent reminder and so true! We have been going through some tough stuff lately…my grandma fell and broke her neck and nose, I had to rush my dad to the emergency room and on the way my transmission went out and we could only go 40mph for the next 25 miles, and the very next day my brother wrecked on his motorcycle and had to have surgery on a severely broken leg. All of this was within one week! With each thing we first went to God in deep prayer just acknowledging that He is sovereign, sung praises, and then talked about how what Satan uses for bad, God uses for good. The kids were able to see that no matter the circumstance, turn to God first. God is in everything and I want my children to know that-in good times and bad times.

  9. That’s awesome Angie. I was going to make a point when I got called away. The knowing “why” is important, I think. I went to Catholic school with the nuns for 7 years when I was young. We memorized the Catechism. As soon as I was out of school, though, I didn’t remember a thing. I think the reason was because ALL it was was, was memorization. I’m all for memorization — I think it is a GREAT way to learn, (the nuns also drilled us by rote in spelling and times-tables, and I STILL remember all of that), but with religion, we were not allowed to ask questions about what we were memorizing, in order to know WHY we were believing what we were taught. In fact, to have questioned ANYTHING would have been seen as rebellion. Yes, it would have been seen as rebellion.

    I’m not lifting up the Catholic religion as the right religion or anything, but I understand why many children eventually fell away from the Catholic faith — the same would be true of ANY faith, if children don’t understand the whys and wherefores of their faith.

    We noticed this in the (Dutch) Reformed church that we pastored for 10 years, too. The older people there had memorized the Heidelberg Catechism when they were young, but once they were grown, they confessed, they didn’t remember a thing, and knew nothing about theology (my husband used to quiz the older people sometimes, privately and individually).

    But, it was the same thing with them — memorization without dialogue, without the children being encouraged to ask WHY, and WHAT does this mean? (And maybe the teachers or parents did not themselves know why?!) I really think knowing why we believe what we believe would be, if not a magic-formula, at least a help.

    We always tried to leave room for questions and explanation when we did our daily Bible reading. Although one went wayward for a short time, he’s back, and both of they know why they believe what they believe and are serving the Lord today.

  10. Kelly says:

    Oooh, this is so good!

  11. Carmen says:

    Good post Kelly! Question…is there someone you know of who has a blog or website that might have great things to say to your children. Like what you wrote that you say to yours? I find myself at a loss for words in those very teachable moments. Help!! : )

  12. Belinda says:

    There is a book I have called “Don’t make me count to three” by Ginger Plowman and it has a chart with offenses and consequences and a Bible verse that backs it up. Also, The Duggars have a good chart on their website that can be printed off. Then, there are Doorposts charts that are just wonderful. I like to use any one of these depending on how well they relate to the offense.
    I think we should study the Bible and know it for ourselves but these have helped when I need something quick or I can’t quite put my finger on the heart attitude.

  13. Kim M. says:

    OH So true! It’s constantly isn’t it?

  14. Jennifer says:

    This is something that has been so near and dear to my heart recently! Thanks for posting this.

  15. Word Warrior says:

    Carmen,

    I thought last night that I should have added it’s not just giving them biblical reasons for NOT doing things, we should be equally pointing to the biblical response for the things they do right.

    For example, if one of my children spontaneously performs a nice gesture, I really go over the top–stopping what I’m doing–to make a big deal about it. And I try to remember to say something like, “(child’s name), what you just did is exactly what Jesus did when He served. I am so proud of the way you want to be like Him…this is it, this is what love is.”

    When all else fails and you can’t remember what to say, remember the main essence of the gospel and what we want our children to emulate: servant’s-heart, self-denial, love.

  16. Kelly L says:

    Kimberly,
    Just prayed for you and your family. Sorry you are going through so much.

  17. Carmen says:

    So true, Kelly! Affirmation is so important! I grew up in a verbally harsh home. My mom and dad became Christians around the time my husband and I had our 3rd child (I became a Christian as a teen). My dad passed away a few years ago and so my mom has moved in with us. She is a very negative person and is very good at pointing out the bad things the kids do (and in everyone) and ignoring the good. That’s my background and I am trying so hard to give them a different life than what I had growing up that I feel like I’m constantly trying to balance things and praise, praise, praise them. All that to say…please pray for me! (And for my mom, too!)

  18. Carmen says:

    Good thoughts, too, Belinda! Thanks! Kelly, I just posted a comment and it didn’t show up.
    Hmm…I guess I’ll try to reiterate quickly…
    My mom is very negative…she lives with us…she’s a Christian, but brought up in a harsh home. I’m so desperately trying to give our children a balanced life that it’s hard to balance with her neg. comments. Please pray for me, the children and for her!!

  19. Kelly L says:

    Belinda,
    If you feel led, counter her negativity with praise. If she says “you always spill like that” Say “Honey, it may feel like you spill a lot, but you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You bring joy to me and the Lord.” She is probably not aware of who she has become. Also, never join in a critical spirit. Your silence, when she is looking for confirmation, will speak more volumes than your words ever could. Just ask the Lord to show you which is His will in each situation. Can you tell I have MY parents living with us till their house is done? 6 weeks this Sat.
    My friend told me one time: “You don’t look so good with facial piercings.” Since I had none, I was confused. She replied “You know, by taking that bait the enemy keeps casting out. That hook in your cheek is pretty ugly.” I was grateful she had enough courage to tell me I was blowing it. Not saying you are, but I might not be the only one…maybe.

  20. Christi says:

    Oh, Kelly, thank you for posting this!

  21. Mommer says:

    Lou Priolo’s book, “Teach Them Diligently,” is also helpful.

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