Teaching your kids the word

Let’s get real.

As moms, we feel a lot of pressure when it comes to what we are intentionally teaching our kids…

They need less screen time and more outside time. Not too much outside time though. You don’t want them turning into hooligans. And they might need some screen time because in this electronic day and age, eventually they’ll have to learn how to navigate an i-pad. I don’t know much about street cred in the preschool realm (or anywhere else for that matter) but I do know that at least being able to turn on a device will give the illusion that their mom is chill and let’s them fall asleep every night watching re-runs of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Speaking of pressure, how about that pressure in the educational department?

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like as soon as I start feeling good about what my two year old knows, I have a kid in nursery at church that’s saying their ABC’s backwards and writing their name in French.

This pressure turns all of us some of us into pretty aggressive teachers. We don’t want our kid being the one that goes off to preschool not knowing how to hold a pair of scissors.

Can I be real for a minute? I do want my babies to know basics and to build and expand on those basics. But my heart for my babies above all else is not that they’d know how to recite letters and numbers…

I want them to know God’s word.

But even more than that, I want them to love God’s word.

Deuteronomy 6:6 says “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. 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 them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

This verse hit me like a ton of bricks.

A few very sobering changes were going to have to take place in our home if we were to apply this verse and make it a part of our daily reality.

First, before I can impress the commandments on my children, they are to be on my heart. I can’t impress what is not already impressed on me. So as parents and leaders of our home, we started getting after memorizing God’s word. Then step two started coming into play…

We started impressing them on our children. Webster’s dictionary defines “Impress” as a verb that means “to affect deeply or strongly in mind or feelings; influence in opinion.” God’s word has lots and lots of promises but one of my favorites is that when it goes out, it don’t come back empty. It always holds it’s value.

It is not time wasted to teach our children the precious truths that will be their guide, their hope, their peace, and their security. These are their promises– letters written to them and for them. It is our honor and our duty to be impressing them on them.

But beyond just memorizing and being able to recite, we have to talk about them consistently… “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.’

If we’re memorizing a certain scripture, we talk about how we can apply it, what it means, what it means to me, and what it can mean to her. We also have certain times of day that we talk about God’s word. Night time before bed, in the morning when we’re getting ready, and in the car. When we’re in the car is one of our best times because it’s one of the only times she’s contained (moms of toddlers, can I get an amen?).

I know what you’re thinking… I can barely keep my kids fed much less teach them to be mini rabbis.

Taking the advice in the last part of this verse has probably made the biggest difference in our family. We didn’t exactly write the word on our door frames, but we did hang them on our walls, write them on our chalkboards, and play them in the songs we listen to.

I have a short attention span. Add sleep deprivation to my already lacking ability to focus and you’ve got  a cocktail of crazy. I must be reminded constantly to keep the word on my tongue. Having it in our home is the perfect way to do that.

I don’t have time to not be intentional with my babies. I know it sounds intense to say that the world is after our kids… but it’s true. The enemy is literally looking for people to devour. What could be more valuable to our children’s futures than to give them what they will need to stand firm against the enemy.

So get after it. mommas.

Start speaking the word over your littlest as they nurse in the night. Don’t think your two year old is too young to learn the word. If mine can recite every word to Shake It Off, she can for sure learn the fruits of the spirit.

I can tell you from recent experience that there is nothing more precious than hearing the word of God coming out of the mouths of your children. What an honor that we get to be the ones to place it there.

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