Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Mom After God's Own Heart: Chapter 2

I can't believe that the last time I wrote about this book was September! How SAD!! I have spent time, though minimal, reading this wonderful book and am ready to continue on my journey through it, while sharing some thoughts here for anyone who cares to read them!

Chapter 2, "Teach Your Children God's Word" was such a blessing to my heart! Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children." What a command from the Lord! What a daunting and sometimes scary task for a mom!

I remember starting this chapter when I was at the peak of my spiritual walk last fall. Memorizing Psalm 1 was a daily occurance. I used this technique to do so and it works amazingly (sorry for the little plug)! After memorizing one verse each day, reciting each verse all throughout the day, mealtimes, play time, quiet time, I still to this day can recite the entire chapter of Psalm 1 from memory. The best part was that I mainly spent time memorizing while I was feeding Caleb. Each time that I would start, he would stop eating, stare and me and smile and just listen! What a joy it was to see immediate results of writing the word of God on my heart, and sharing it with my baby! To this day, he still stops whatever he is doing when he hears me recite Psalm 1.

Looking back over Chapter 2, there are so many great, encouraging things to share, but I'm going to try and keep this short and simple. So here we go!

God designed us mommies to not only be housewives, home managers, cleaners, cookers, and the like...he designed us to be TEACHERS! This truth is coming to a head as I write this! I am not just Caleb's momma, play friend or care taker, I am his teacher and I have a responsibility to teach him things that he needs to know. Whether that be how to read, what different animals are, what different colors are in the rainbow, how to have self control, how to listen and obey when mommy says no, how to speak or how to walk. While all of those things are vital to life, they are by far not the most important. The most important thing I can teach Caleb is to "Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." And where else is he going to learn this from, than from the person he spends every waking moment with, ME!

While I can think about that and get very quickly overwhelmed, the thought that I might have an influence on whether my child comes to know Christ as his personal Lord and Savior is the most thrilling, gut-wrenching and exciting thing to think about! Teaching Caleb about the Lord may not come naturally to me every moment of the day, but I'd like to think that there are defining moments during our week at home that I am more intentional about this than other times. Being Caleb's teacher has been a million times more rewarding than anything else I can accomplish in our home during the day. And to know that it's only going to get better and better as Caleb learns to read and speak is just icing on my little cake!

Moving are a few of my favorite nuggets from this chapter...

"God does not require anything of you but a heart that desires to follow after Him and obey His directive to teach your kids."

"A mom can never begin too early to teach God's Word diligently to her children."

"Don't worry about what your children are or are not getting out of your Bible reading times. What they do get is the firsthand experience of seeing your love for the Bible and your wholehearted commitment to God and His Son. They'll realize God's Word is important to you...therefore it will become important to them. They also get to hear the scriptures. And, as the Bible teaches, 'faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17)'"

A few additional takeaways from this wonderful chapter:

From the section: From a Dad's Heart (written by Elizbeth's husband, this section is at the end of each chapter and is basically a dad's perspective, such an encouragement to both mom and dad's alike!) "If you have a believing husband, thank God every day for this man! Your job of teaching becomes a little easier. Most men are busy porviding for their families, so they don't always think about the teaching aspect of being a parent. Why not sit down with your husband and agree on the part each of you is to play in the exciting role of teaching your children about God?"

And from the section: Little Choices That Reap Big Blessings, this section is a call to action section, giving practical tips and ideas of how to put in to action all that you just soaked in through the chapter. I love this section becuase it's not only insightful, but convicting and a great reference point to continue to go back to for more ideas...

For momma:

1. Read God's Word regularly yourself! Your personal love of and familiarity with the Scripture will be a driving force in your desire to share it with your children and in your faithful follow-through on God's calling to do so. Be sure the first little choice on your to-do list each day is your own heart-filling, soul-refreshing, strength-producing time with your Bible. Choose to do it for yourself...and choose to do it for your family.

2. Read from the Bible first. Nothing can take the place of the God-breathed, God-inspired, written-by-God-himslef Scriptures! Be sure each of your children has a Bible, no matter what their ages. **My own insight on this: Caleb has a few different Bibles, but currently our favorite, ok my favorite one, is one he got for Christmas. It's a board book Bible, and if you have a one year old, you know how much they like to rip and tear things, and its SUPER hard to tear a board book, so for now, our board book Bible is it! Shout out to my Aunt Heather, Uncle Troy and cousins Parker and Foster for getting the board book Bible for Caleb for Christmas, we LOVE it!!**

3. Read Christian books to your family.

4. Read to everyone. I urge you, don't leave anyone out! Pay no attention to your children's ages. And if they have friends over, include them too. Just pile the whole kit and caboodle of kids into the room, on the bed, the floor, the couch, or around the table, and read away!

5. Read from Proverbs. God states the purpose of the book of Proverbs right up front in chapter one, verse four: "To give...the young man knowledge and discretion." Give them Godly wisdom. How? Read out loud from the proverbs at every opportunity!

Ok, so I went a little long, but truly there was so much great insight in Chapter 2, as I'm sure there will continue to be in the remaining chapters, I just couldn't leave any of it out! I hope you find little nuggets of encouragement through Elizabeth George and her gifted writings. She is truly using her God-given talents in such a great way and I'm just so thankful that I get to reap the benefits of it!

Until next time (which won't be too long since I've already finished Chapter 3!)...

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

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