Impress Them On Your Children – Deuteronomy 6:7

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Deuteronomy 6:7 - "Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

Am I making an impression? Do they really listen? Am I having a positive effect on them? These are things I wonder all the time. I wonder them in many areas of parenting, but as you may have guessed from Deuteronomy 6:7 up there, today I am talking about littles and faith.

It’s not hard to understand why I wonder these questions. Sometimes, in the day to day of it, it’s hard to see the big picture through the momentary frustrations. And if you’ve ever been to church with small, antsy children, you might wonder if they are even hearing or learning anything at all. You might wonder if the messages about God’s grace and forgiveness and salvation are being listened to or if they’re just going in one ear and out the other.

I know I’ve wondered. Some days I wonder if my kids even know the meaning of sit still. And I’m sure that everyone in church must be aware of their antics. (They’re probably not. Once again, I fall into the trap of thinking that people are thinking about me way more than they actually are.) Some days I cry in the car on the way home from church because it feels like the kids will never learn how to sit still and not fight with each other in the middle of church.

And I know, I know it’s their ages and that Allen, especially is still super little. And I know that this is something that will get better with time (bigger picture) but in the moment, that doesn’t necessarily make it feel any easier. In the moment, it still feels very hard.

So anyways, I wonder all of this. And it’s not just about church I wonder – I wonder when we read Bible stories if they really understand what they mean or when I talk about God if they really understand that. I want and try to do what Deuteronomy 6:7 talks about – talking about God’s word in our life no matter where we find ourselves. Weaving it into every area of our lives.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel, when they get older.  You start to realize that yes, God is making an impression on their little hearts. And then, when I watch Dominic, I really understand what it means to have a childlike faith in a way that I couldn’t understand when I was still a child. I see his enthusiasm to want to talk to Jesus. I see his desire to praise Him when he makes up little songs about God (Song prayers, he calls them). I see that something is clicking when he says that Jesus died to forgive our sins. I even see glimpses in Allen, who has learned to say Amen. Not a huge deal, but it shows he is paying attention, he is observing. I’m grateful to God, that He gives me these moments of small encouragements.

When you baptize your child, you are putting your faith in God, in the Holy Spirit, that He will work faith in your child’s heart. But I admit, I struggle with seeing the big picture in the moment of weakness – Satan whispers in my ear that they aren’t really learning anything. Or worse yet, he whispers that I am a failure, that I am not doing enough, that I’ll never do enough to impress the Word of God on their hearts. But these are lies, from the father of lies. While it’s true I’m not perfect, God’s word is powerful enough to overcome my human imperfections and it never returns to Him empty.

So, I will choose to continue impressing these things on my children, imperfect as I may be, because the Word of God? It’s bigger than me. And I’m so, so glad for that.

Is this a struggle for you? What are some ways that you impress God’s word on your child(ren)’s heart(s)? 

Picture from Stockvault.net. I edited it to add Deuteronomy 6:7. 

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