I've been corresponding with a new friend I met through my blog. In one of her emails to me, she wrote, "Being a mom is such a blessing, but with my beaver personality I am constantly evaluating and analyzing the ways that I am training [my son]. I want so badly for him to love and know the Lord that I feel like if I don't do everything just 'right' then he will never know Jesus as his Savior. I must remind myself to stay focused on the Lord and look to Him for wisdom and guidance."
Being a Beaver personality myself, I can empathize with these feelings. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do everything as perfectly as we can and hope and pray we don't somehow "warp" our children! Below is what I wrote back to her. I thought it sounded like a good blog entry. :-)
I think Satan really guilt trips us into worrying about the whole good-mom-bad-mom thing. Ultimately, we have to trust that God will shepherd our children's hearts--we do what we can to teach them about Him and His Word, but we have to free ourselves of the responsibility that will ultimately be theirs...their own decision to accept and follow Christ. Being a parent is certainly a huge responsibility, to love and lead these little treasures that have been given to us. And it is scary to think they will develop their view of God based on what they learn in our homes. But it's also exciting!
That's one of the biggest reasons we have chosen to home school. I went to a Christian school my whole life, and I'm thankful for that opportunity. But I am so glad that I can personally direct my kids' education. I'm so glad that I'm the one there at the breakfast table, reading the Bible stories and reviewing their memory verses with them. We've had such great discussions at the breakfast table--everything from who Satan is to what temptation and sin are and how we can choose to follow Jesus instead. I love hearing my kids say random things like, "Mommy, I love God and always want to obey Him!" Comments like these come out of the blue later during our days, not necessarily when we are speaking of the topic!
This past year I have really laid claim to the words in Deuteronomy 6:4-7, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 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."
When we embrace the life God has called us to, loving Him with all our "passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence" (from The Messsage translation), we will incorporate that love and passion into all we do. Our children can't help but notice, and they in turn will (most likely) embrace a faith in God that becomes their very own.
What a joy! What a privilege to be the ones to lead our little ones in the paths of righteousness!