This weekend I was in a “warrior III” yoga pose in a small motorhome with my 3 kids who had the Disney Channel blasting to hear their show over the extremely loud race cars that were buzzing around us. (My husband is a chaplain for the sport of NASCAR). Yes, I was being a warrior to even attempt to get a workout in at this point. I had asked the kids to just let me do this twenty minute workout and try not to trip each other if they had to walk by.
I couldn’t hear the instructions of the yoga instructor, I was merely copying her and trying to breathe deep. I was extending my leg and trying to balance when one of my daughters knocked into me, and to be honest, I was totally annoyed that occurred (grace for my honesty, here). I growled something at her and immediately felt bad and apologized.
My kids know I’m not perfect. They are my great grace lavishers. I’m glad, because for a while I think I had the misconception that if I wasn’t perfect, they wouldn’t turn into decent human beings. But the LORD showed me something in the mothering department that I’d like to share with you today.
“Train up a child in the WAY he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
I used to think “training them up in the way they should go” meant putting a lot of road signs on their path like “listen the first time, don’t talk with your mouth full, always be nice, basically, don’t ever do anything wrong.”
But guys, that is just teaching them that they have the power within themselves to “be good.”
Which is not at all what the Bible teaches. In fact, Jesus tells us this:
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.” Mark 10:18
The only true hope of our kids turning out to “be good” is the only ONE who is GOOD.
So to simplify our hopes of our kids being good, the LORD gave me an easy way to remember:
“to train up our kids, train them to fall down before Jesus.”
How do we train them to do this?
We do it.
We stay totally dependent on Jesus at every turn.
They see us praying.
They hear us praying,
Asking God for help.
Asking God for forgiveness.
Asking them for forgiveness (when yoga doesn’t calm us;)
When they do something “bad” leading them humbly to the throne to ask for forgiveness or you asking for forgiveness on their behalf while sincerely thanking Jesus for taking the punishment they deserved. Lingering there, so thankful for His suffering on our behalf. (Maybe even giving them grace from a punishment to help them experience this)!
When they keep doing the same thing that needs correcting, keep bringing them back with you before the LORD in prayer.
Yes, consequences are important because they teach our children to remember and hopefully not repeat the same offense. They also teach our children the reality that when guidelines aren’t followed in life, there are real consequences.
But let’s remember The WAY we are directing them to. We are directing them to JESUS THE WAY, to walk hand in hand with Him. We are directing them to a relationship with their Savior who is waiting for them with eyes locked and an open hand for them to hold.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the WAY, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
When my children leave my nest, I don’t want them leaving with a list of rules to be a good Christian. I want them leaving with a grip on Jesus’ hand that’s so tight, I know when they stumble they won’t fall. They will make mistakes but the ONE whose hand they hold will receive glory for it all when he uses their lessons learned for good.
The only path I’m concerned about leading them on is straight to Him, at every turn. Makes it simple. Jesus brings freedom in every step.
I’m looking forward to sharing something next Monday on “Refocusing on Home.” I hope you’re enjoying this God – Marriage -Motherhood – Home cycle. I so appreciate you reading & pray it blesses you!