“We will not hide these truths from our children but will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord. We will tell of His power and the mighty miracles He did. So each generation can set its hope anew on God, remembering His glorious miracles and obeying His commands.”
Psalm 78:4,7 NLB
It's easy for me to get down on myself over my parenting. I read verses like this and guilt creeps in. I can't say I've ever sat my kids down Sunday school style and imparted God's Word to them. We've learned verses over the years, but not in regular fashion. Family devotion time has been inconsistent at best. We've tried working with the kids one on one in Bible study, but sadly it hasn't become a habit yet.
So, when I think about proclaiming the "glorious deeds of the Lord" to the next generation, I assume my husband and I fall short. Have we failed as parents? Is God looking down at us, shaking His head in disappointment?
While it's true we could do a better job intentionally building faith into our kids, I am amazed as they get older how much they've caught. They've espoused our values without our formal training. I see them apply Truth in every day situations and I scratch my head wondering how it happened without more deliberate attempts on our part.
Do I forget teaching comes in many forms? Is it possible to proclaim God's Truth informally?
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 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.
This sounds like day to day living to me and you know what? I have accomplished this. We've talked plenty about God and relationships sitting at home at the dinner table and along the road in a vehicle. Spiritual topics come up when I'm ready to lie down (Why, oh why do kids save questions for bedtime? Why must my favorite conversations come after midnight?!)
In these daily interactions my kids have picked up on the "glorious deeds of the Lord." They hold their own convictions about drinking and marrying believers and reading their Bibles. Their ability to match Scripture to real life without even realizing it, astounds me. They possess wisdom in relationships beyond their years. Did they get this from our preaching to them? I don't think we've been consistent enough to reap rewards from that.
Is it possible that what we've lacked in formal teaching we've made up for by living out our faith authentically?
I wish I was more successful at purposefully teaching my kids about God, but I'm thankful another way they can learn is through His Spirit working in me. I'll keep trying intentional instruction, because it is important, but I won't beat myself up about my failures.
My kids have taught me not to underestimate the power of a good example.
For more ideas about this quote, visit Karen at In Love W.I.T.H. Jesus.