what to do with your children’s trust

Growing up I trusted my parents. I lived with both my mother and father and my grandmother. So many other people were in and out of the house through my 18 years in that home that it would be a post in itself to explain. I don’t know that I had to make a conscious effort to trust my parents or my Mama Joyce. It was just a part of who I was. I was a kid. These adults are here telling me what to do and when to do it and how to do it and I didn’t know – for a long time anyway – that doing the opposite of what they said was an option. Sure, like most kids, I was disobedient at times. I lied. I stole candy. I stole money a few times to buy candy. This isn’t really about the inherent sinful nature in children, but why pass up the opportunity to point it out. There it was. In me.

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Anyway, I think that we have an innate trust in our parents, or the people who we grow up to know as our parents. Why wouldn’t we? They take care of us and they are the adults we are around the most. My one-year-old babies know my voice and my face and come to me. My mother-in-law always says, “they know their mama!” And they do! It’s amazing! It makes me light up to see my baby foxes squeal with joy and come crawling toward me as quickly as their little arms and legs will bring them.

These two little people trust me. They trust me and my husband. They wouldn’t describe it as trust (because they don’t describe anything yet – they’re babies). Yet, that’s what it is. So, what am I to do with that? I have been called to this most difficult and important task of raising two people into adulthood. What do I want them to know? What is important to me that they “catch” from me? What kind of adults do I hope them to be? The answers to those questions differ from parent to parent. I would challenge you to look to the Bible to find out what God wants from you as a parent.

“Listen, Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on your doorposts of your house and on your gates.” -Deuteronomy 6:4-9

This is not the time to get into whether or not these words are to be used as an exhortation to Christians (although I do have something to say about that). This is a time to see what the Lord has said to us and about being parents. He tells us who to trust. Then He tells us who to teach our children to trust. Even with these verses the answers to the questions above will look different to everyone, but let me leave you with just this nugget: He wants you use every part of you to bring Him glory and to teach your children to do the same. That’s our jobs. Our calling. Our ministries in our homes. I’ll be figuring out what that looks like for a long time, but right now I am, at least, certain of the direction that I should be going.

How do you (or do you plan to) teach your children to trust God with everything?

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