February 04, 2007

The most important thing to teach my children...

In my Bible Study we're reading A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George, we read this week about imparting God's word to our children. Now, I work very hard each day to teach Jacob Math, reading, critical thinking skills, appropriate behavior, and many other things. But this statement in this week's study woke me up:
"We as Mom's can do many things for our children, but teaching God's word must be our passion. Why? Because God's word, the divine law...has value for salvation and value for eternity."
That was a light bulb moment for me. Does Math have any eternal value? Does Phonics stir Jacob to love Jesus more? Then why am I so diligent about teaching the three R's to cross off a school day when I struggle to remember his Bible reading or scripture memorization?

As you can imagine, this has been a week of reevaluating our schooling priorities. I know I am responsible for preparing Jacob to successfully provide for his family, and academics are important. But the most important "subject" I can develop in Jacob is his love and desire for righteousness in Christ. Now that's a vision statement for our homeschooling career!!

So this morning, Jacob was praying this morning at breakfast and was thanking God for Mommy, Daddy and Mattie, our house and good friends, the good food He gives us, and the sunshine. What a blessing for Jacob to know that God gave us all these wonderful things!

And a couple of Wednesdays ago we were riding to church and I thought I'd check to see what spiritual info had sunk in thus far...

Me: Jacob, do you believe God loves you?
Jacob: No because I don't know what believe means.
M: Hahaha, Okay, to believe means to understand, to know that something is true. That being said, do you believe Mommy and Daddy love you?
J: Yes indeed! [Yes, he really said that!]
M: Do you believe God loves you?
J: Of course!
M: Do you believe you have ugliness in your heart?
J: Yes.
M: Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross because He loves you so much?
J: Yes.
M: When you die, do you want to go to heaven and be with Jesus forever?
J: No, no, no! [Okay, I'm momentarily discouraged. Obviously we've missed something critical!] I want to stay with you forever! [Okay, that was worth a wrong answer.]
M: [Moving on...] Well, we're all going to die someday. Even Mommy... So, when you die, do you want to go to heaven where you can be with Jesus forever or go where you'll never have the choice to be near Him?
J: I want to go to heaven where we get to praise Jesus all the time!
M: What does "praise" mean?
J: To sing songs and tell Jesus how much we love Him. You know that, Mommy! [How sweet is that?]

Mmmmm, that conversation was such a blessing to me! "I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth." 3 John 1:4 I know Jacob has a long way to go in his spiritual walk, but I firmly believe that Jacob "believes" and understands as much as he is capable right now. I'm not waiting for a prayer of salvation, because I could con him into that today. (And I don't want to hang my hat on that either. ) The Lord has blessed what we have done so far. Jacob's heart is open to hear God's truth! This is where I go from here...

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in the house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up." Deuteronomy 6:5-7

First, I need to love the Lord with all of my being. Fill my heart with Him. Then I am to teach Jacob and Mattie all the Lord is teaching me. That is the most important thing I can do for my children. Reading and Math won't get anyone in to heaven.

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