Tag Archives: child training

Entrusted to Your Care: Be the Mom

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Let’s talk about children today. Go ahead and open up your Bible to Proverbs 22:6. This is a verse that we have all heard before, but, if you haven’t highlighted it or underlined it,  now would be a good time to do that.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

I love the imagery of Scripture, because as I read verses in Ephesians and Matthew and again in Proverbs, we read over and over again that it is the parents responsibility to train up their children. It’s not the responsibility of the school, the pastor, the church, community (or the village); the responsibility rests solely on the parent.

That is an incredible task!

One of my favorite verses is Luke 6:40.  It says, “When a student is fully trained, he will be like his teacher.”  There is probably another way you can look at that. When a child is fully trained, he’ll be like his mother or his father: he will be like his parents. That’s why we say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It really is true.

We need to take our job as parents seriously and train our children in the way they should go. The Bible says that the person who does that is blessed.  Need more convincing?  We read in Psalms and again in Jeremiah that the person who follows the Lord and obeys Him is like a “tree that is planted by a stream of water who yields its fruit in season,whose leaf doesn’t wither, and whatever he does prospers.” (Psalm 1)  Isn’t this what we desire for our children?

If you are struggling to get your children to obey you today,  I want to encourage you!  I know it’s hard, but keep at it!   Training your children is more important than schoolwork, it is more important than school, actually. Training your children is more important than that grocery trip you need to make; it’s more important than that phone call you need to make.  It trumps playing on the Internet.

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from a friend who was struggling with disrespect from her 12 year old son. We were going back and forth exchanging ideas and perspectives. Twelve years old can be tough; it’s is an age where the discipline method that we used to use doesn’t always work anymore.  My friend was realizing that her son was coming into a different season of his childhood. All I could do was pray for her, because I didn’t have the answers she needed. This seasoned, capable mom was navigating the sometimes rough waters of parenting.  We all need to learn to do it.  Our kids are counting on it.

It’s humbling (but also freeing) to realize we don’t have all the answers.  Be encouraged, busy mom.  You can do this job you’ve been given. God says He calls us to the task that we have have before us. In other words, He knew, even before she even had that little boy, that she was the perfect mother for him.  It’s an awesome thing to realize that our children have been entrusted to us.

Entrusted.  It’s a powerful word.  It means we are being trusted with something precious. Moms who see the power of being entrusted with children love them by giving them boundaries, by teaching them, by disciplining them, by correcting them and by giving them unconditional love.

Often, it’s easier to just “let things go.”  After all, parenting is exhausting. It’s a marathon of never-ending questions, refereeing, guiding and forgiving.  Do the harder thing, mom.  Don’t give up on the oh-so-daily job of redirecting and correcting and guiding your children.  The results of your investment will be worth it.

Love your kids, busy mom. But remember—you’re the mom.

Be the mom.

Love and train up your kids.

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Heidi St John Firmly Planted Family Devotional For All Ages

It Can’t Wait: Teaching Our Children About God

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I wonder, as families, are talking about the Lord very often? I mean, really, if I were to ask you if we should be talking about the Lord, you’d answer, “Yes, of course we’re supposed to be talking about the Lord!”  However, when it comes down to it, it’s not as easy as it sounds, is it? It’s easier to put the Lord at the end of our day or at the end of our conversation, if we even remember Him at all.

Sometimes, we only mention His name when we need help. I think this is the common response— we we run to God only in times of crisis or emergency. Certainly, God is there in those times, but I wonder what our families would look like if we ran to Him on a daily basis rather than in times of crisis or struggle.

If you already have your Bible, turn with me to a familiar passage that most of you probably know. It’s in the Old Testament, in the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 6:5-7.  This is what it says:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

A couple of years ago, my husband and I began a writing project called Firmly Planted.   The heart behind this Bible study is to engage the whole family in the study God’s Word.  One book, with activities and engaging questions for all ages. We began this project in response to something that we saw happening within the homeschool community, but as we spoke to our friends outside the homeschool community we began to see that many of us were struggling with the same thing.  We talk a lot about walking with the Lord, but we are not doing anything proactively to teach and train our children in the ways of the Lord.

This may require a sacrifice of time and energy on our part as parents, but one thing is certain:  if we don’t teach our children about God, the world will do it for us. We want our children to know the Lord, we want them to give Him the same place in our families that He holds in the universe. The Bible says that God is the Creator of all things.

So, as you consider your family, take a step back and ask yourself, “Are we studying the Bible as a family? Do my children see me reading the Bible? Do they know that God has a place in our family, that He is the most important part of our family?”

God deserves a place in your family, busy mom, and, you know what? He deserves first place. He deserves to be at the head of the table. Our children need to know that God is real and personal.  They need to know that He loves them and wants to have a relationship with them.

Does this take effort?  Yes, it does.

Someone asked me one time, “How do you make your children love the Bible?”  I had to laugh a little as I remembered all the times that my children had grumbled and complained when we gathered the family for devotions.  They would say things like, “Really mom? Do we HAVE to do that?” I’d like to say that it was perfect, but there were times where arguing was involved. Looking back, I can honestly say that the most important times that I remember with my adult children were when we were reading the Word and God really spoke to them in such a way that they began to see their relationship with Him in a personal way.

Let your kids see that God takes first place in your family. Although God deserves to have priority in the lives of your family members, don’t just do it for Him. Put Him first in your family for the sake of your family and you will find that there is tremendous blessing in walking with God.

My grandpa used to say,

“If you keep God outside of your family, there will be problems inside your family.”

Grandpa was right.  We see this in our culture, too.  Where we remove God, we struggle and suffer.  Walk with God, busy mom. Spend time in His Word with your kids and then see what God will do.

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P.S.  Have you been enjoying these daily devotions in podcast format?  I hope so—because I’m sure enjoying recording them!  Let me know how you’re doing—and feel free to post questions, too!  I hope these daily devotions are helping you get into the Bible on a consistent basis.

Heidi St John Firmly Planted Family Devotional For All Ages