Saturday, October 6, 2012

teaching toddlers theology :: day 6 lifestyle parenting

I’m enjoying so much writing this blog series- it’s been challenging for me as well and such a great reminder of what’s truly important despite the mundane or frustrating moments of mothering! I’m thankful for each of you that are reading, I’m humbled by your sweet comments, and I’m honored to be on this journey with you.

So I realize a lot of what I’ve been sharing has been focused on us, it’s been difficult, and perhaps even a little deep! But I hope that you recognize the importance of laying the foundation that our children’s spiritual lives will be built upon! It’s not just taking kids to church and making sure they know the bible stories and church songs… It’s a whole mindset that we as parents must have. It’s purposeful parenting! Purposefully investing spiritually and biblically training our children! And the majority of this training doesn’t happen in a formal setting. It’s in the everyday, informal life that we live with them! In fact, this is how Scripture commands us to pass on our faith to our children, how we’re to teach and train our children spiritually. I found this beautiful graphic of Deuteronomy 6:4-9 made by Jessi at Naptime Diaries.
{photo credit}

I love how before our kids are even mentioned in this passage, verse 5 says that the Lord’s commands are to be on OUR hearts, as parents, first! Our love for Him and his commands are to be real and a part of our lives before we ever are told to pass them on to our kids. We’ve spent plenty of time this week talking about this aspect, but I just wanted to point that out before we move on.

The next command is “Impress them on you children” and then the rest of the passage lists how we are to do this.
Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road,
   When you lie down and when you get up
Tie then as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads
Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates

This is what I like to call “Lifestyle Parenting!” This kind of parenting is a 24/7, making the most of every opportunity, staying focused on the main goal, affects your whole life, do whatever you have to do to get the message across, all the time kind of parenting! Maybe we could call it “Radical Parenting”? But radical or not, this is the Scriptural pattern that God instructs us!

How are we doing? Are we taking this kind of parenting seriously? Are we making the most of every opportunity and keeping His Word on the tip of our tongues ready to share, or are we getting distracted by all the other stuff of life? We can’t let the daily grind of parenting drown out the main goal of parenting!

In the coming days… and weeks (pretty much throughout the rest of the series), we’ll be talking about how we do this… this kind of lifestyle parenting. We’ll be looking at practical ways we “talk about them when we sit and when we lie down” and we’ll also try to deal with some obstacles we might face as we try to actively invest spiritually in our young ones. My sweet hubby has even offered to guest post a couple times on issues relating to dads. I can’t wait for that! There was also one commenter who shared that her little one isn’t interested in spiritual things and was wondering how to overcome this? I hope to address this issue at some point, but I was wondering if any of you have any experience with this and could give some insight? We are all in this together!

What other 31 days topics are you enjoying right now?

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This is Day 6 in a 31 day series on Teaching Toddlers Theology. To catch up on where we've been, or view our menu of posts, go to this intro post.

1 comment:

  1. To be able to "impress them on your children" you need to know them yourself. Great post! Purposeful parenting! I like that.


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