April 10, 2007

When you walk with your children...


Tuesday morning. Jack is feeling back to normal. He has a follow up visit with his neurosurgeon from the gamma knife on Thursday. It will be a quick trip to Dallas and back. We will listen to Harry Potter, that is our standard car entertainment, listening to a Harry Potter book on tape.

Over the last couple of month's in the bible class that I attend at church we have been rocked by the teachings of Dr. Royce Money, the president of ACU, and Dr. Rick Lytle, the Dean of the Business Dept. at ACU. We have just 2 weeks left I think then this series is over, we have been blessed with a study on the book of Romans. Every week I leave that class with my jaw dropped and my head swirling with so much good information and insight. It has been awesome!
Each week they encourage us to be in scripture, and this week the subject of not expecting the church to do all the training of our kids when it comes to their spiritual knowledge and love for Jesus and service to others. In fact, plainly stated, it is the parents responsibility and duty, but they will take help from where ever they can, the church, schools....how much of our time as parents is spent tossing a ball with our kids, hanging out playing board games, or just being together but not interacting because we are all busy doing our own thing? Rick and Royce were saying that we need to extend some of the effort from those other activities into study time with our kids. We have taught our kids to excell in school, sports, and dance and theatre... but how many of us actually spend time in the Word with our kids? We just expect 2 hours of Bible class and church to be all the feeding they need from the Word of God. I am hear to say that 2 hours of divine knowledge against the other however much our kids are unlearning from TV, the school playground, songs on the radio... is not enough. This was a very convicting lesson to me.

Rob and I do spend time with our kids each day in the Word, mine comes from just interaction and talking about their days and how Jesus would handle different situations they are going through, and prayer. Rob does a more formal study with them each night, he will go to the Christian Bookstore and find kids devo books and that is what he uses. He has gone through many different books, now he is on "Sticky Situations" by Betsy Schmitt. The kids love the time they have with their dad, and they get to talk through a sticky situation, come up with their solution, and then the scripture that goes along with it. It takes about 8-10 minutes a night and I would have to say it is the best 8-10 minutes of time investment in our kids all day long. The devo's are short, interesting, and fun.

As a child growing up in a very unstable home, church was a safe place for me. Everyone was nice there, I was in a place that there was love and compassion. But...those couple of hours a week did not teach me how to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I learned the bible stories, but they didn't really help me when the rubber met the road in my late teens. It was what I saw at home that guided my choices, that was my normal, I saw that when there was stress or friction, my dad got drunk, when there was reason for celebration, my dad got drunk, when there was boredom, my dad got drunk. I have more memories of my dad passed out than I do the other. My mom clung to scripture, but she didn't include the kids in it as much as it was her refuge from a really hard life. So when things got rough, or I had reason to celebrate, or I was stressed out, what did I turn to? What I saw growing up.

What will my kids turn to? What they see. Do as I say not as I do, doesn't work. I want my kids to see that when things get tough God is right there to guide us through it, we can take lemons and make lemonade, and we can serve and love the people around us even when it is hard. I am far from a perfect parent, Rob and I have alot to learn, our kids will have to overcome our inadequacies as parents, but I do have a vision for the love and kindness in our house, and letting the love of Jesus be our guide with others, and each day I reach to get a bit of that vision into our reality with the help of God, prayers and family and friends. The bible says I will answer to God for the raising of my children, did I love, train and teach? I am grateful for the grace that is extended because I know I will fall short, but that will not keep me from trying.

We are on this journey together.

4 comments:

Melissa B said...

Thanks Tammy! What a good reminder. I need to be talking about God and praying with my kids now so that as they get older it will be natural and expected and not forced and awkward. As always, your blog is a blessing.

holly said...

Thank you for this post. It is so important. I was raised with very strong christian parents, but it was church's job to teach the kids. It wasn't that my parents did not want to teach us. They just didn't think they needed to. They both say today that is one of their greatest regreats. They both feel they are "lucky" that we both still go to church. We do really well at our house for a while, and then fall off a bit. I even have nursery bible for Kase and he loves it. All of the workshop I been to say the key is to start Family devo's or worship early so that is part of who your family is. Also make it fun. I saw some really great family stuff at the conference I went to. I'll look it up and post it on my blog.

Steph said...

So glad I stopped by today! I wish I could have been in that class. We were convicted on this issue a few years ago after reading Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions by George Barna. It is eyeopening! It is so encouraging to me to hear and witness how other people are spiritually training their children. Thank you so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Your post was excellent!! As a grandparents my husband and I feel the call to be part of the "spiritual nurturing process" with our four granddaughters. Deut 6:4-8 is powerful in reminding us to teach as well as being powerful in the reminder that we continue to influence throughout our lives...

love to all there Dixie and Tom