“train up a child in the way they should go…”

circle_praying“…and when they are old they will not depart from it.”

this is one of my favorite verses from proverbs. i believe it with all my heart. i’ve always had this plan for myself when it was my turn to do some training. however, i’m struggling. i realize my struggle has just begun. my kids are 3 and 1 and un-conceived.

at Bible study tonight, the girls and i were discussing raising children with “wisdom and faithful instruction”. i started to talk about how i’m really struggling with what that means. it is really scary to think that the basis of what my kids’ thoughts about who God is is in my hands. yes, i do believe that the Lord created us with a hole in our hearts. He created us with a curiosity…a longing to seek out our Creator. still, it’s scary because sometimes when i’m explaining things to harper, things that are fundamental parts of my faith, i know that it sounds no different to her than when i’m reading “alice in wonderland”. last week she was singing “this little light of mine” and got to the part about “don’t let satan blow it out”. i was trying to explain to her who satan is. as the words were coming out of my mouth, i was thinking how stupid it sounded and how much it sounded like i was talking about the easter bunny or something. (Satan’s also tricky because you don’t want to make him sound TOO scary because then she’ll have nightmares every night.)

there’ve been several instances like that lately, and it is really causing me to question my faith. not in a “i feel like i’m going to leave the church and realize i never had a relationship with God” kind of way; more like just causing me to think about which aspects of my faith and my relationship with Christ are really important to share with my kids while they’re young. i feel like alot of the Christian relationship (not religion) is understanding the entire picture (sin, Christ’s death, forgiveness, mercy) at once, and i just don’t think kids can grasp that. they’ll believe anything you tell them. they don’t believe it because the Holy Spirit convicts them of it, they believe it because you say it’s true. this makes me feel like i’m brainwashing her or something.

i also feel like kids learn by example. i’m counting on it, actually. i pray that the way that my husband and i live and love each other and our children will make it more than apparent to them that we have a “higher motivation”. i am not very good with words, so i’m banking on the fact that harper overhears a conversation between a friend and i about prayer or she suddenly understands that saying grace before a meal isn’t something that is just tradition, it’s a genuine “THANK YOU” to God that He is allowing us to eat today.

i’m rambling. i don’t know if i’m making any sense at all, but it’s sort-of jumbled in my head too, so…oh well.


2 Comments to ““train up a child in the way they should go…””

  1. love the rambles…you are a thinking, loving mom to go there…more to follow….

  2. you have such a gift of expression. i have the same concerns with my girls. i also pray that the example my husband and i are for our girls will give them a foundation to understand God’s purpose for us and His love and mercy.

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