Ever wonder if your kids are listening to what you’re trying to teach them? Or if what you’re doing is paying off and if you will ever see the fruit of your labor?
My kids are only ages 7, 4, and 10 months old, but the Lord gives me what I like to call little “God winks” from time to time. Sometimes those God winks are reality checks and I think to myself, “Jesus take the wheel,” or “Praise the Lord, they are listening!”
Talkin’ about Heaven
The other morning, my kids, Audrey and Drew, and I had a conversation about Heaven from our devotion we did at breakfast. The devotion was powerful yet simple, and I was so excited to answer questions they had, but it derailed quickly. It went something like this:
Audrey: Will we go to Heaven and then come back home?
Me: No, once you’re there you stay, and Heaven is going to be the greatest place! We can sing and dance and praise God forever. You won’t want to come back.
Drew: And God won’t have a number of days that we can stay.
Audrey: Will I get a crown like Elsa’s?
Me: Oh, it will be better than Elsa’s!
Drew: We will have different taste buds there.
Me: Everything will be better in Heaven!
Audrey: I’m going to have a crown like Elsa’s?
Drew: Well, I still don’t know if I can eat broccoli, cabbage, and carrots there.
Me: I bet all that will taste really good in Heaven… and if you give your life to Him here on earth He sets aside treasures in Heaven for you!
Drew: You mean like the treasure box in my teacher’s room? I have to have 10 tickets to go to the treasure box.
Me: It will be even better than that and no tickets needed for those treasures!
Audrey: I can’t wait to get my crown! (She proceeds to get her Elsa costume out.)
Me: Let’s pray.
Hey, at least the seeds have been planted, I thought to myself. A few weeks later, more thought-provoking questions about Heaven went something like this:
Drew: “Mom, I just can’t stop thinking about Heaven! I do think about Dinotrux, Finding Dory, and The Bernstein Bears books too, but I always come back to Heaven!”
Me: “Well, Drew, that’s great!”
A few minutes later…
Drew: “Hey, in Heaven is Jesus going to be glowing?”
My husband: “He will have so much glory around Him it might seem that way.”
Drew: “But I don’t like shiny things in my face…”
When they almost get it…
There are times when my kids remember what they want to when it’s beneficial to them by totally saying things out of context. For instance, the other day I heard one of my kids coveting another kid’s toy by saying, “God says to share.” The kid said “But it’s mine,” and my child so sternly reminded them, “No, it’s God’s.”
And then there are moments where what you’re teaching them completely gets misunderstood in their pretty little heads. We tell Audrey all the time that God made her beautiful, and we always try to remind her that He looks at the beauty of her heart, and she needs to be beautiful on the inside too. One Sunday as she was getting out of the car at church I hear her say to herself with just a hint of sass, “Everybody is going to love my dress and my bow today.”
Those comical moments remind us to keep sharing the love of Jesus with our kiddos! Plant those seeds, show them that having faith and believing in Jesus is fun, satisfying, and can be applied to all areas of life.
They’re watching you, Mom!
As funny as those moments and conversations have been, there have also been the moments where my heart and mind have been weary and discouraged, and I needed a God wink. And through my children, God helped me see that He was there and that the fruits of our labor were starting to show. A few months ago, Audrey came downstairs, got her blanket, sat down with her Bible in the chair where I do my devotions and said, “I’m going to read my Bible and do my devotion just like you do.” Many times when she is playing, and something good happens, she’ll shout, “Praise the Lord!” She’s heard that a time or two!
And one morning Drew woke up and came to my room looking for his dad. He had seen my husband for several days in a row doing his devotions, and he asked, “Where is dad? Is he downstairs reading his Bible?” They pay more attention than we think. These moments are enough to encourage me to not only saturate my own life with the Lord but to keep pouring into my little ones.
In the car the other day, I was using a situation as a teachable moment, and out of nowhere Drew playfully cuts me off and said, “Okay mom, we know! Jesus is all you ever talk about!” He knew my answer or explanation was always going to come back to Jesus. As a mom raising little ones, my answers and explanations have to always come back to Jesus!
And finally, a few weeks ago he had been having a lot of questions about salvation, Heaven, redemption, and sin. We would talk, he would ask questions, I’d try my best to explain, we’d move on. It seemed that every question was about those things and he just couldn’t get past it. After having him explain a few things to me, it seemed that his little heart had finally come to a saving knowledge of Jesus and the Gospel. He recognized that he was a sinner and needed to be saved. His primary reason: “I want to live forever in Heaven!” I can’t think of a better reason.
Just never give up!
Leading our children to the Lord is exhausting, and we are easily discouraged, but I encourage you and have to remind myself, to commit to the ordinary day to day moments. Remember, the Lord chose an ordinary girl to be the mother of the Messiah, the King of all Kings. Training our children in the way they should go is no small feat and can’t be done in just a few simple conversations or interactions. There must be consistently repeated moments of teaching and “How many times do I have to explain, teach, tell, show you” moments. Don’t grow weary or give up. Simply listen and look out for those God wink moments through your kids. Look for evidence of those lessons you’ve been so tirelessly trying to teach your children.
When Drew had accepted Jesus as his Savior, for a brief moment, I thought “Whew, OK, I can rest now.” Nope. As a mom, there are no breaks. The teaching and guiding have shifted to helping him grow in his faith. Now that he is reading, I try to write him out a simple Proverb and give it to him at breakfast or on the way to school, or in his lunch box. I forgot one morning, and he quickly reminded me as we were leaving the house: “Um, Mom, Bible verse?” I honestly didn’t know if he even cared or was taking anything from it. After a few days of doing it, he got into the car after school one day and gave me the day’s highlights and told me that he didn’t get into trouble that day. He said, “I’m really starting to understand that God wants me to think before doing things and He cares about how I act. Those Bible verses you’ve been giving me are really helping.” Praise the Lord! That was enough motivation to get myself right up the next morning at my usual time and have my time with the Lord.
None of these examples are in any way meant to be bragging or “Look at what I can do,” but they’re meant to show that it really does take a village. I could never take credit for the teachers or leaders that God has allowed my children to have over the years. I could never take credit for the way God supernaturally and sovereignly works in situations that I have no idea about or any control of. To Him be the Glory.
Maybe you’re having a hard day, a hard month, a hard year. Or maybe your little one is having a hard year. Never doubt for a moment that you are the perfect woman to be their momma. Never doubt for a moment that your child is with that teacher or at that school or dealing with that person for such a time as this. You, your child, and your family have been sovereignly placed right where you’re supposed to be… for now. Keep doing what you’re doing. Know that your efforts don’t go unnoticed. Your time and energy will be rewarded and blessed.
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