By Kristin Overman
I’m in the thick of it, parenting that is. I spend my days picking up Legos, dealing with fights, and making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. My days are busy, but I want to make them count. I want to pass on something lasting.
How do I choose to spend my time with my kids? I can sum it up in two words, love and train.
There are many ways to show love. I was at the park when a child ran up to her mom asking her to watch her. The mom was preoccupied with her friend and told her daughter no. The little girl sunk down and walked away. I was heartbroken for her. Psalm 127:3 says, “Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord”. A blessing is to be enjoyed. I love my kids by delighting in them. When they want to show me how they swing on the monkey bars, I stop and watch. When they want to tell me about their picture, I listen. I play, talk, and hold them as much as I can. God the Father showed delight in Jesus, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”, Matthew 3:17. The Father acknowledged Jesus belonged to Him and showed His approval. God was pleased with Jesus because He was His.
Do we take joy in our kids simply because they are ours? Ask your kids to look you in the eye just so you can say, “I love you”.
There are a lot of aspects to training, but it begins with God’s Word, not mine. One of the ways I try to instill God’s Word in my boys by reading it thematically. I’ll read stories that go together, for example we’ll read Jesus’ parables, Elijah’s miracles, Paul’s teachings, or David’s adventures. I just use a children’s Bible, no special curriculum. We each memorize a verse that relates to what we are studying. When we are done we draw pictures and write what we learned. It is really fun to see what they remember and what God lays on their heart.
Hopefully, my love and training will lead them to Christ. My children are my priority in witnessing. God placed four boys into my hands. I want to return four souls to Him. The greatest disciples I can make are my kids. There are no other people I will have a greater influence on.
“Love your children as if you won’t have them tomorrow; train them as if they won’t have you”.
How are you loving and training the children in your life?