Friday, October 2, 2009

Lessons From Mom | Devotions

One of the lessons that Mom taught me- and she always practiced herself- was to let your children see you reading God's Word. Saying that you have a devotion time is one thing, but having your children see you is another.

We always say how important it is for our children to watch us doing our day to day activities because that is how they will learn to do them as well. How else will our children learn to read and study God's Word if they do not see us doing it? No, we don't need to make a show of it, or have neon lights pointing in our direction as we read the Bible (that would be a bit distracting to us as well), but we do need to make sure that our children see us reading the Scriptures as a part of our everyday life.

Ever since I was a little girl, I can remember my mother having a quiet time. I can remember her sitting on the couch in our living room when we were young (you can't leave small children by themselves) with her Bible and a pen (we still have her Bible with all of her notes written in the margins- priceless!). From watching my mom having her devotions and then sharing with us what she learned from her time with God, I learned how to study God's Word for myself. I even learned how to respectfully mark up my Bible with insights that God was showing me in my time with Him.

There were times, as I got older, that Mom would tell me that she had woken up in the middle of the night and had her quiet time then. We knew it was true because, first, Mom could not stand lies with a passion. She is someone I can honestly say ALWAYS spoke the truth. Secondly, she always had a scratch piece of paper with all kinds of notes that only she could understand, that she would share with us.

It was during my devotions with Mom that I learned godly behavior, how to behave around others (especially boys), how to treat others, how to love the Lord, and how to serve Him. Mom had devotions with me on a daily basis until the day before my wedding (I was 28 when I got married). Even after I got married, on my way to work (I was a teacher for ten years and a local Christian school) I would call her up, and she would share with me what God had shown her from His Word.

My mother took Deuteronomy 6:7-9 seriously. Those verses read as follows, "Impress them (the commandments) 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 on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your house and on your gates."

While watching TV or the news, if something came on that was wrong, as the channel was being changed, my parents would talk to us about "what was wrong with that picture".

As a little girl, when I was first learning vocabulary words, Mom would say, "See the tree? God made the tree."

Every evening as part of our bedtime routine, Mom would have us memorize a verse (we are doing that with Addie). We were taught one verse a week. Those were memorized so that when tough times came our way, God's Word would be the first thing we thought of, and His Word brings comfort like nothing else can.

My parents provided us with devotionals that were age appropriate for us to do first thing in the morning in addition to the Bible studies we would have with Mom.

My mother was known for her decorating skills. She always had beautiful pictures that had verses of Scripture written on them on our walls. I also remember that one of our houses had a chain link fence. She had tied a little plaque with the verse "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" on the gate of the fence so she could literally do what this verse talked about. I now have "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" on the main wall of our home.

Now it is my turn, and, yes, I have woken up at times in the middle of the night to have my quiet time. When Addie was still very small and eating every three hours, and I was still getting used to motherhood, the middle of the night was a wonderful time for me. I couldn't do any housework because everyone was sleeping (and who wants to at that time anyway?), and no one needed my attention right then. It suddenly became clear to me why Mom would sometimes have devotions then, also.

I pray that Addie is receiving the same teaching that I received.

In the morning I have my devotions. I put her in her "command center" exer-saucer, and I sit on the couch with my Bible and pen. We then read her little books of Bible stories, watch her little Praise Baby video, go over her Sunday School lesson (a new thing since she just started Sunday School), and when we take our walks she is told that "God made..."

As she gets older, more will be added to our devotion time together (Daddy even bought a little devotional for fathers and daughters to do together- too cute!).

It is a lesson I learned from Mom...one that I will never forget.

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