Proverbs 4:11 (ESV)
I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
This verse is especially meaningful to me right now, as I have been thinking a great deal about the instruction that I have given to my children over the years.
My daughter's class at church is memorizing scripture as it relates to the Bible lesson they are studying. At this particular time, we are committing to memory Matthew 28:19-20(NIV). Jesus says, " Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always until the end of the age." (Italics mine.) Yesterday, as I was speaking these words with my daughter in an effort to memorize them, the phrase...teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you....went out of my mouth and did a complete 360 degree turn and like a boomerang slammed back into my heart!!
It was suddenly so clear, that we can teach our children wisdom and we can lead them down the upright path, but if they do not obey what we've taught them....they will miss the boat!
My latest focus as a parent became clear at that juncture. Having older children that have learned a lot of scripture through the years, it is now a push for application of this wisdom ...making them disciples! All of my strength and objectives as a parent need to center on this training. (Of course there is an understanding that the heart and relational decision between my children and Christ must preceed all of this, or any of my efforts will be in vain.)
It was definitely a "light bulb moment" in my role as mother and mentor of the beautiful children that the Lord has allowed me to parent. Now, you are probably wondering what all this means from a practical stand point. I am wondering the same thing!! Exactly HOW do I go about this teaching of obedience? Being a role model of obedience is one way, certainly. As for the rest of the how to portion, prayer will provide the answers! I am so excited to see where the Lord will take this! I also know that it could be different for each child according to their own strengths and weaknesses.
Praying tonight to have clear direction for "how" to teach each of my children to obey the Lord's commands....not just teaching the Lord's commands. Continuing to lift up the country and people of Japan to the Holy One of Israel for protection, restoration and peace.