During my pregnancies, I begin praying for my children’s salvations. I pray that at young ages they will understand they’re sinners, understand their need for Jesus, and ask Him to be their Savior and Lord. I also pray that my children will walk closely with the Lord all the days of their lives.
When our oldest child accepted Christ at the age of six, I knew he understood he was a sinner and needed Jesus. It wasn’t just the answers he gave to my questions, but it was the questions he asked that gave me peace his decision was genuine; the same for our second child when she accepted Christ at age five. But, since that time, I have struggled with wondering if the children were sincere and understood what they were doing; or if they just prayed a prayer to make their parents happy. But that’s when the Lord led me back to various prayer journal entries, and also reflecting back on the children’s growth and training in His Word.
Heath and I are not perfect parents. But, the greatest desire in our lives is to see our children be mighty warriors in God’s army. We pray our children will choose godly mates, and have godly children. I like how Voddie Bauchum, jr. uses the term, “multigenerational faithfulness” in his book, "Family Driven Faith." We desire to begin a strong lineage of authentic and passionate Christians with our family. We desire for our children to not be afraid or ashamed that they belong to Christ and are servants of His. For many generations may our children and children's children, be faithful to our Savior.
Many people know Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. One of my favorite passages about parenting is found immediately following this passage in verses 6-8. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (ESV)
I firmly believe the order of these verses are important. Before you can teach your child anything about the Lord, you must FIRST “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” That’s how you capture your child’s hearts for the Lord! If they see you completely in love and satisfied in the Lord, they too will want what you have: a personal, meaningful, life-changing relationship with Jesus!
God instructed the Israelites to teach their children about Him. It’s not the church’s job to teach your children for you. God desires you to teach your children “diligently.” When are you to teach them? You are to teach them when you’re at home, when you’re walking (or driving), when you lie down (naptime and bedtime), when you rise (early in the morning), and there should be reminders of our mighty God all around your home. Does God only want parents to train their children on Sunday mornings? No. Does God want anyone else except for parents to be the primary spiritual trainers and teachers of their children? No.
In time the fruit of my children’s lives will be revealed. In the meantime my husband and I will continue praying for our children, and do whatever it takes to help them grow and mature in their relationships with Christ.