I must confess that the world pulled me astray. When my children were younger I gave little thought to my personal responsibility for their education as it relates to Scripture. I had many ideas about what I wanted for them. Success, friends, an excellent education, and a variety of after school activities are just a few of the things I thought about. I began to enroll them in everything I could find.
I believed the lie that busy was equivalent to happy. So we ran. From ballet to t-ball. From soccer to art class. From choir to piano lessons. From birthday parties to AWANA. From LEGO club to STEM classes. Our schedules were busting at the seams.
Not only were my children busy but I was busy. Often, I could be found teaching a bible study, volunteering at a local pregnancy center, investing in women around me, or as necessary for the list above, running my children from activity to activity.
My husband was working sixty-hour weeks and trying to fit in every activity we planned for our children.
We wanted to provide our children with every opportunity to give them “a good life.”
This good life, that ultimately led to us completely wearing ourselves out, was a lie. You will notice that all of the things we were committed to were good things. Really good things. But we were trading great for good.
When I was pregnant with my fourth baby, I was put on bed rest. This forced me to come face to face with an over-scheduled schedule. During that time I read a lot. I listened to a lot of sermons. I learned a lot.
If you are thinking of scrolling past, I would encourage you to read a bit further. I assure you I felt the same way you do, I was doing the best I could for my children. I was giving them good things. They had a good life.
And then I read the words in Deuteronomy 6:4-8 NLT:
“Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Wait. How often am I supposed to teach my kids about Jesus? More than once a week at church? More than twice a week at church?
Multiple times PER day.
If I am serious about this Christianity thing, if I truly love Jesus as much as I say I do, if this is the real meaning of my life then I must center everything around it. Everything.
That’s crazy, Jenn.
Yes. I know. It’s crazy like building an ark. It’s crazy like marching to war with only trumpets in hand. It’s crazy like coming out of a lions’ den with not even a scratch. It’s crazy like walking away from a full-time job to follow Jesus.
It’s crazy because it’s different.
You’re taking this a little too seriously, Jenn.
Yes. In the depths of my soul.
I know that our children will face more difficult days than we have. Christianity, when I was growing up, was “popular.” This is no longer true. The opinion of the culture is not favorable toward us. It is imperative that we educate our children in the Scriptures so that they may be a light into an ever-darkening world. It is paramount that we send out children whose roots are so firm in their faith that, though the wind may blow, they will not be shaken.
I have often been accused of sheltering my children; however, I prefer to think of it as laying a foundation. When they are ready, and they will be ready, they will be strong.
There is no guarantee they will choose to follow God, but they will know everything I can teach them about Him. And I believe that even if they run from him, they will return if I plant His love deep into their hearts.
We must give them a love for His Word. We must give them a love for others. We must give them a love for Him.
Mom and Dad, it has to start with us. This is your charge: write Deuteronomy 6:4-9 down. Commit it to memory. Reassess your priorities and trim down your schedule. Review your commitments and find where you can make changes. We still do some of the things we used to, I am just much more careful about how I schedule our time.
God has placed children into your care; it would be heartbreaking for them to leave us, after 18 years, with no knowledge of the Bible.
They won’t get enough in Sunday School. They won’t get enough in Christian music. They won’t get enough in AWANA. It’s up to us.
Let us send children out into the world who can turn it upside down for Jesus. Because they learned about a Living God under our care.
Written by Jenn Kish
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on herviewfromhome.com.
Featured Image by Cassidy Rowell