Today we're hearing from Callie Nicole as she writes on how to keep Jesus in the center of your home and teach your babies about His love. She is such a powerful woman of faith and is always an encouragement to me. She writes at Through Clouded Glass.
First of all, thank you to Nicole for asking me to write a guest post! I think this is a great idea, and I'm so excited to be a part of it!
As a new parent, you are a prime target for all kinds of advice. Advice about infant care, advice about parenting, advice what kind of products to use. People like to tell you what worked for them, and personally, I like hearing what worked for other people, so the advice usually doesn't bother me. I've gleaned alot of useful tidbits from other's advice.
When I'm seeking advice on a certain subject though, I always go to my mom first, and the best bit of advice I've received on being a mom, particularly on being a Christian mom, came from her.
The actual words came indirectly from her in the form of parenting resources she loaned me (more specifically, tapes from Jamie Womack - we don't agree with alot of what the Womack's have to say, but I appreciated alot of Jamie Womack's thoughts on parenting). However, my mom gave me this advice in the form of her example long before I ever heard it elsewhere.
As a Christian mom, my greatest desire for my baby boy is that he would come to know the Lord at a young age. I want to do my best to teach him about Jesus as soon as he can understand so that he will have that desire to follow Him.
Obviously there are alot of ways to go about teaching your children about Jesus, but for me all of that can be summed up in this bit of advice - saturate your children with God's Word.
Looking back I can see how my mom did this for my siblings and me - she sang us Bible songs, listened to Bible tapes with us, read us Bible stories, took us to Bible studies and Sunday School and church, prayed with us often. We grew up knowing about Jesus, and it wasn't long before we had that desire to know Him personally as well.
It is my intention to saturate my kids with God's Word just as my mom did for me.
We've already started this in a way in our home. As soon as we brought our son home from the hospital we started reading the Bible together as a family before bed. We read Christian storybooks to him even though he can't understand them yet. I've started gathering Bible CDs and movies for when he gets old enough to understand.
It's not always going to be easy or like second nature (though I think it will probably get easier as I get in the habit of it). I'm sure I will get tired of listening to kid's Bible music when we are riding in the car together. But for the joy of hearing my baby singing about Jesus? I'll listen to them hundreds of times for that.
I might get tired of reading the same Bible stories over and over or watching the same old Christian kid's movies. But for the blessing of having my children grow up loving those stories? Of having them know about Jesus at a young age? For the blessing of instilling a love for the Lord in my kids so that choosing to follow Him is an easy decision? All of it would be worth it.
One thing I'm coming to realize though is that I cannot saturate my kids with God's Word unless I am saturated with it myself. This isn't a one-time, learn-it-and-your-done type of thing. Being saturated with the things of God is a constant battle, a daily decision. The world is trying so hard to get you to soak up everything it has to offer.
I know I too often focus on secular things instead of things that are helpful to me in my walk with the Lord. I want to change that though, so I can be a good example to my kids, like my mom was to me, and so I can give them the proper things to "soak up".
I think for me this starts with taking my quiet time with the Lord a little more seriously again. Reading a chapter of the Bible for two minutes before I fall asleep at night doesn't qualify, and I'm afraid that's the habit I've fallen into.
I'm getting back into the habit of setting aside the time in the morning when I'm giving my son his bottle for my devotions, and this has worked really well for me. Try to find a time that works for you to spend time with the Lord each day, and stick with it! It makes a big difference for me, because if I start out my day soaking up God's Word, it's easier to pour that back out into those I interact with, most importantly my family!
I hope you can find some encouragement from this post to begin saturating yourself and your kids with the Word of God - now is the time to start! The blessing of having our children choose to follow the Lord infinitely outweighs all the time and effort we might put in. I can't think of a better reward!
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."