The most asked question I hear from parents is, “How do we raise kids who will love Jesus in adulthood?” One of the mom’s in our church phrased it like this, “What is the secret sauce for raising kids who love Jesus?” In our culture today, these are valid questions.
God left the blueprint for us in His Word. Deuteronomy 6:6-8 says, “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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them to your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your house and on your gates.”
First, the passage above reminds parents, a spiritually vibrant home begins with their relationship with God. When we love Jesus with all their heart and are pursuing a relationship with Him, God begins to change them from the inside out. They begin to see God in the activity of their lives. They see his power lived out through their answered prayers. It is in those moments, their relationship with God impacts the spiritual climate in their homes and their kids see the authenticity of our faith.
Second, parents are the primary spiritual influencers in their child’s life. It may often seem easier to take our children to church and feel like we can check off the spiritual development box because they have spent time studying God’s word in their small groups. Deuteronomy 6, however, reminds us that it needs to be woven throughout our day to day activities with our kids. As we go throughout our day as a family, we are looking for those opportunities to have faith conversations with our kids or to simply point out God moments.
Third, this passage points out the importance of having reminders of God’s Word around our home. It might simply be on a post-it note we leave on the bathroom mirror, or a verse of the week we place on our back door. It could also be a strategically placed pillow with scripture on it or a piece of wall art. The scriptures we place around our home will be reminders to not only our kids but to ourselves as well, that even when we have had a bad day, God loves us. He has a plan for us that goes beyond our wildest dreams and He is cheering us on.
For me, personally, as I have reflected on this scripture passage, it has made me more aware of the need to continually point my kids back to scripture and to the Lord. As we talk through the day and situations which arose, we talk about our God moments throughout the day and also about how to handle situations in a way which honors Jesus. I remind my teens almost daily, to remember who they represent as they go into their day. I remind them to “be the light”.
There are moments when God pulls back the curtain and lets me see how he is working in the hearts of my kids. When my daughter was in 7th grade, she texted me from school and apologized for saying a curse word. I am so thankful God is working in her heart and and her heart is soft towards the things of the Lord. She didn’t need to text me on that day. I would have never known, but the Holy Spirit nudged her heart to share it for accountability. Later that day we talked about what led her to that moment, she said she was sitting at a lunch table where she wanted to fit in and chose to say a word which she would normally not speak. We have often had conversations about why I choose not to use profanity myself. I have wanted to honor God with my speech, so others would see Him through me. It was a reminder as well, that my kids are watching me. They see I am striving to live for the Lord and they want that kind of relationship with God as well.
With fear and trembling, I often read the verse Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Oh, that I can say this with confidence daily to my own two teens. It is ever before me as I approach each day. My walk is not perfect, nor was Paul’s. One thing I do, is when I have that day where I trip up in my attitude, actions or words, I go not only before God and ask for forgiveness, but I also go before the little eyes watching me and ask their forgiveness. My greatest longing is that I will represent Jesus well to my kids and we can start a branch on the family tree which represents a long legacy of faith.
Welcome to Faith & Family Box! My name is Katrina Dorroh. I am an Oklahoma girl living in North Carolina with my husband, Robert and two teens: Caleb and Kaitlyn. We also have a spunky Westie named Trooper. I have been doing ministry for over 25 years. I have a Masters of Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I absolutely love nature and creating memories with my family. On of my favorite places to hang out is in our wooded area on a hammock with a good book. My favorite verse is Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” My favorite quote: “The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to Him. By God’s help, I aim to be that person.” Dwight L. Moody