Monday, April 5, 2010

A Mom After God's Own Heart: Chapter 4

I know that when I write about this book, my posts always seem to be FOREVER long. In my human nature, I want to apologize for the length, but in all actuality, I really shouldn't because I truly feel that what I'm learning through this book is such goodness that I don't want to leave anything out! Obviously, I know that longer posts will prevent some of you from actually reading the whole thing, but I hope that you will find time to read my posts from this book, there is such great insight about being a Godly mom! Anyway, on to the book!!!

LOVED LOVED LOVED this chapter titled "Tell Your Children About Jesus". The verse is 2 Cor. 5:20 as says, "We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us."

You might wonder how this chapter differs from the last one, "Talk To Your Children About God", and I have to say I wondered the same thing as I looked at the title, but don't be mistaken, there is a crucial difference!!

In this chapter a GREAT analogy has been given, the analogy of a target, arrow and bull's eye. The most important thing we can do in life, as a mom, is to tell our sweet children about Jesus! That's our "bull's eye" for life, or at least it should be!

We MUST aim for our child's heart! That is the "target". Ask yourself what is the purpose and aim of your parenting? Take a look at your life and priorities. What are you intent on teaching your children? With our days being filled with multi-tasking, it often seems impossible for me to get everything on my to-do list done. I'm often overwhelmed by this, especially in the stage where Caleb is right now, wanting to learn new things each day. Of course I want to be his most influential teacher in life, as I should desire that as his mom, but man, it sure is time consuming! The thought of adding another thing to my list is difficult at times, but the greatest take away (reminder, challenge, encouragment) from this chapter for me was this: "Until I wake up every single morning and know without a doubt that today, if I don't get anything else done, I must teach my children about my Lord Jesus, I am aiming at the wrong target"! WOW! This was so convicting, yet so encouraging! I'm so thankful that I'm reading this book and learning how to be a better mom while Caleb is still so young, AND before this next precious baby arrives! Thank you Lord, for allowing me to see these truths! Help me to put in to practice each new thing, so that my sweet babies will grow to know You, Your story, Your gospel, and prayerfully, come to know you personally as their Savior!

Next came the arrows. What are the peircing arrows we want to sink into little hearts? The Scriptures. The truth. The Word of God. The Bible. And especially the Bible's account and stories of Jesus' life. Teach your children about Jesus -- His miracles, His teachings, His birth, death, and resurrection, His interactions with his Father and his disciples, His goodness, His perfect, sinless life!!!! How can we best do this as mom's? READ ALOUD to your chidlren daily from the four gospels!! Even if your child(ren) are "too young to understand", still be faithful to read to them! "The word of the Lord does not go void", no matter what age they are at!!!

Now, hitting the bull's eye. Pray. Pray, pray, pray for the salvation of your children! Realize that YOU can't save them, only God can do that. that's His job. To hit the bull's eye, take care to share vocally and repeatedly the facts about the gospel. Speak from your heart and from God's Word to your children. Make it a point every day. See it as a sacred, nonoptional, daily duty! Talk to them about Jesus' death for their sins. Be faithful to open your mouth. Be faithful to prepare. Be faithful to teach. Be faithful to preach. Be faithful to hang in there and persist...while being faithful to live out genuine faith. And, of course, be faithful to pray!

May your children, and mine, never remember a day when you didn't talk to them about Jesus, your Best Friend and Savior!!

From A Dad's Heart was so encouraging!! Jim had so much great insight and ideas of what us as mommies can do to encourage and/or be a light to our husbands during this journey of parenthood...

"If your husband is not a Christian, he won't be all that interested in hearing about Jesus. But he is probably very interersted in knowing that the children are under control. he likes knowing that the home is clean. And he loves knowing what' for dinner! For this dear guy, make sure you ar eliving out before him the reality of the Jesus you want him and your children to know. Communication takes on many forms. Often we teach the loudest by what we do rather than what we say. your actions will teach your husband about Jesus too! As the Bible says, "without a word" husbands "may be won by the conduct of their wives" (1 Peter 3:1).

Now, and always, if you have a believing husband, thank God every day for this man and pray daily for growth and wisdom for him. Then beyond that, sit down with him in a quiet place and share what you are learning about being amom after God's own heart. let him know of your commitment to tell your children about Jesus. Share your dreams that they come to a genuine faith in Christ. Enlist his support in helping you talk about Christ."

I don't know who all reads my blog outside of a few close friends and maybe a couple family members, but my prayer is that if you are in an unequally yoked marriage, that the Lord would use you in mighty ways to bring your spouse to know him personally. And that you would not lose heart, and would continue on in your faith, by word and deed, so that the name of the Lord is glorified in all circumstances of your life! Know that I am praying for the hearts of unbelieveing husbands out there, for the Lord to reveal himself in undeniable ways to them, so that they may turn from their unbelief and take on the role of a Godly man and leader in their home. Our generation and the generations to follow desperately need this!!!

Little Choices That Reap Big Blessings. This part of the chapter is often where I am challenged, but struggle deeple to put in to practice. These are the most practical tips I could receive, in order to make the necessary changes, so taht I can put in to practice everything else I have just read and learned throughout the rest of the chapter, yet, somehow I fail to take those steps to change the look of my daily life. The ones from this chapter seem a little extra "easy" to implement so I'm challenging myself this week to be faithful in doing one of these each day.

1. Concentrate on the gospel. Consider this:

The Gospel is God-given.
The Gospel is what God does for man.
The Gospel is good news.
The Gospel ends in inner transformation.
The Gospel is...a force -- the power of God unto salvation.

2. Share the lives of God's saints.

Choose to read up on some of the greatest saints. For example, G. Campbell Morgan. He was a little boy who grew up to become a famous British minister and later the pastor of the Tabernacle Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Of him it is written that he was "a great organizer, a powerful preacher, a prince among evangelists, a teacher and leader amongst ministers and student of Holy Scriptures." But hear Mr. Morgan's own words: "My dedication to the preaching of the Word was maternal.... When but eight years old I preached to my littler sister and to her dolls arrayed in orderly form befor me. My sermons were Bible stories which I had first heard from my mother."

3. Sing about Jesus. Instead of having the TV on this week, I am going to have on worship music, or just have silence and reading time for Caleb and I. Caleb LOVES to read, and is starting to "read" to himself (in his own language of course)!

4. Budget for books. It's staggering how much a family can pay for cable TV service, videos, and CDs. So don't hesitate to have a budget for Jesus books. Note the books at the bookstore that would teach your children truths about Jesus. Also note the books your kids particularly like. A special book purchased every so often (otherwise known to me as a sussy) will surely become a favorite and an heirloom.

5. Ask others to pray. Being a mom is the same as being in a battle. You're a warrior! And the battle for your child's heart is a spiritual one! So enlist the prayer support of any family members or friends taht are Christians. Ask them to commit to becoming prayer warriors on behalf of your children. Ask them to pray for each of your children every day. This is one of the most important "invisible" things you can do for your children, pray for their salvation daily!!

This chapter truly spoke to my heart in many, many ways, but specifically it was encouraging to get ideas of all of the practical things I can do teach my sweet child about Jesus! What better ways could I spend my time at home with Caleb, than to read bible stories to him, sing to and with him, dance with him, pray with him and for him, and truly feed him the gospel, the truth of what has been offered to each and every one of us!! Most of what was written here was taken from the book, but it was such good "meat" that I didn't feel the need to alter anything. The Lord truly used Elizabeth in this chapter to reach directly into my heart and soul, and to encourage me to be driven after one thing in life, HIM!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

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