Joshua, the spiritual giant, once said, “but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” In my house we practice this in a number of ways. One example is that we give thanks for the food before each meal.
About a year ago, when I called the kids and Liezl to close their eyes, the youngest, all of three years then, spontaniously burst into praise. Ever since and with each meal she thanks God for everything from her mommy and daddy to all the birds in the sky and once even for ice-cream in general.
Her prayers aren’t always theologically correct, they follow no form or dogma and neither Liezl nor I have any indication that she understands salvation in any meaningful way yet we allow her to continue, unhindered, unrestrained, before every meal. And this is why: I get to offer thanks straight after her. I thank God for His provision, acknowledge Him as our creator and sustainer and ask Him for His mercy and grace as we live out our lives to His purpose and glory. Every night for a year I’ve patterned prayer before her, her older sister and Liezl. And guess what? It’s working. She really is growing in her understanding of who God is and how we correctly and appropriately relate to Him.
Last night something happened out of the ordinary. After Kathryn had rattled off her thanks for dogs and her Barbie’s and all manner of other things and said, “Amen”, Kaitlyn, her older sister, now six, took up the prayer. It’s the first time that she’s spontaniously prayed and my heart soared, I mean it really soared, it almost jumped out my chest. As our children grow before my eyes my prayer for them is that God would do a work in their heart, convict them of their sin and convince them of their need for a savior, that they’d put their faith and trust in Jesus for salvation and that we’d be united for eternity together with Him.
I’ve been reading through Ephesians 5 and 6 this week. Ephesians 6:4 patterns Christian parenting and is relevant to this post:
How do you pattern Christian living to your kids? Is this important to you? What other useful ideas do you have? What other useful verses spring to mind for you? If you found value in this article go and check out Science and Religion. It’s the first post I ever made and I love it.