Today's post is written by a dear, dear friend of mine. She has graduated two children from her homeschool and has two more on the way! I first met Denise at a homeschool literature fair, and then God placed her in my path again at our homeschool co-op. Denise is a tender spirit whose gifts are that of mercy and encouragement. I KNOW you will enjoy her post today.
Choose Wisely: Teaching our children to choose a life of faith
By Denise Leak
“You must choose, but choose wisely. For as the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you.”
(Indiana Jones, The Last Crusade)
How do we teach our children to choose wisely? In a predominantly secular, faithless, selfish world where self-sufficiency and ‘follow your heart’ mentalities reign, teaching our children to choose wisely seems to be a daunting task. However, we know that this is our most important calling and we must teach our children to know truth, seek wisdom and choose wisely the path of life.
Devotion time this morning and I am with our two boys reading about obedience. From Character Sketches, Volume 1, we read about the Wood Duck.
I am deeply moved by the spiritual lessons from this study in nature.
God’s design for life.
The mother duck does not begin to incubate her eggs until all are laid gently in the nest. Then, she will sit on the eggs and “talk to them” as they incubate.
From inside the tiny eggs, the little birds will answer the mother. At an early developmental age, these tiny creatures know the sound of their mother’s “voice”!
Are my sons listening to my voice? Do they see the parallel message of the mother teaching?
In God’s great design, he planned this miracle to save the lives of the little ducklings.
In little more than 24 hours after the eggs hatch, the mother will call to them and ask them to take a giant leap of faith from their nest in the tree to the forest floor below. A leap of sometimes 5-60 feet, these little hatchlings will have to make the choice to jump and live or stay and die.
The mother waits in hopeful expectation below.
I am waiting for God to grow the hearts of our children so that they might hear His voice.
For 7 more weeks, the little ducklings will stay with their mother as she models life skills and they learn more about survival. How many more weeks, months, years, will I have to teach? What does God require of me as a parent entrusted with precious lives?
The process of their growth was such a reminder to my heart that God is using this time in our home to build a foundation of trust, faith, and wisdom in our children. Our children know our voices and learn from our teachings so that one day they will hear and obey the call of their Heavenly Father. They must choose to listen.
Each day we wait with expectation for our little ones to choose wisely. We invest in their lives by teaching them truth, modeling faith, and seeking God in our lives. We hope. (“Faith means being sure of the things we hope for...” Hebrews 11:1)
We must remember as parents that our children were created by God, for God, with a freedom to choose. Our calling as parents is to be faithful to the task set before us. May all who come behind us find us faithful.
(“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” 1 Cor. 4:2)
Choosing wisely as a parent:
Talk to your children. Demonstrate to your children the purpose of your life. A life dedicated and committed to following Christ will have evidence in prayer, value of God’s Word, faith, and a commitment to the body of Christ.
(“Always remember these commands I give you today. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and walk along the road. Talk about them when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
Model a life filled with love for Christ. A relationship with the God of creation is about love. He pursues us with passion and love even unto death on the cross. We must model a life filled with love for Christ. It is in that relationship with Christ that we are obedient because of our love for Him. Honoring his word and honoring our parents comes from a relationship based on this love. Developing our relationships insures a foundation for trust and faith.
(“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39)
Challenge children to an extraordinary faith. A bold and extraordinary faith where others see Christ is the goal. Just as the ducklings faced the decision to jump, our children will face opportunities to make great leaps of faith. Equipping them with scripture and truth will give them the tools they need to stand, or jump, when their faith is challenged.
(“Teach them to obey everything that I have told you. You can be sure that I will be with you always. I will continue with you until the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20)
“To be in your children's memories tomorrow,
You have to be in their lives today.”
― Barbara Johnson
A few helpful resources:
*Precept Ministries: Bible Study for kids/teens.
*Worldview Academy: Student summer camp experience to develop faith and leadership skills to change the world.
*That the World May Know, Faith Lessons on DVD from Focus on the Family, by Ray Vander Laan; filmed in Israel
*Character Sketches, Volumes 1-3: Institute for Basic Life Principles, www.iblp.org
Choose wisely! (“…live well and wisely in every detail.” Deut. 29:9 MSG)