There are so many things I want to teach my kids, so many spiritual truths I want to pass on. Like Deuteronomy 6 tells us, God wants us to impress on our children’s hearts the things He is teaching us. As a D6 family we try to look for opportunities during conversations, or plan times to sit down and talk with our kids about important topics and truths. But we also realize that our kids learn a lot from J.J. and me by watching how we do life….how we make hard decisions, react to stressful situations and walk with God in everyday life circumstances.
This is true for every family, and it’s always a process, isn’t it? I love hear how other parents are seeking to live out D6 principles with their kids. So, today I invited a good friend of mine, Micca Campbell, to share her thoughts on how parents can show their kids how to live by faith or fear. Micca has a lot to share on this topic, much of which she covers in her soon-to-be-released book, “Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Stronger than My Fears.” Here is what she had to say:
Psalm 127 paints a wonderful picture of God’s plan for building successful, worry-free families. The Psalmist explains that Lord builds the home, but the parents are the gatekeepers. A gatekeeper is like a watchman or overseer who monitors the family’s activities and decides who and what is allowed access into the home. The gatekeeper should be aware of what is going on in the house and who is influencing the household. The watchman isn’t afraid to let the kids’ friends come over, because he (or she) decides who stays and who leaves, who comes back and who doesn’t get to return.
A good gatekeeper also protects the hearts and minds of the children by monitoring what they watch on TV, view on the Internet and listen to on their iPods. It’s the watchman’s duty to monitor the home until the children can supervise themselves.
The watchman isn’t afraid to let the child learn and grow through trial and error, nor is the watchman afraid to trust the child again after the child has made a mistake. The watchman knows their actions and reactions are teaching their children on a daily basis to live in fear or faith.
As the gatekeeper of our homes, it’s our job to teach our children how to live a life of faith. Unfortunately, as parents our lives are sometimes marked by fear rather than faith.
A few years ago, my husband, Pat, was offered an accounting job that included a big promotion. It was what he had been working for, praying for, and waiting to happen. However, once he settled into the new position, he had regrets. Not only did he have to learn a new job, but he also had to clean up the chaos someone else had left behind. On top of that, the company’s financial status was hanging in limbo. Pat’s worries weighed heavily on his shoulders. As the provider for the family, Pat was deeply concerned about losing everything. He suddenly found it difficult to trust God.
Before I knew it, his concerns and anxieties became mine. Looking back on this frightful time, I can’t help but wonder what Pat and I were building into our children—faith or fear? As Christians, we should be the last people to be afraid of anything. We claim what Paul asks us in Romans 8:31—“If God is for us, who can be against us?”—but act otherwise when the foundation of our home is shaken. Our children shouldn’t see fear in us. We can’t say with our mouths that we trust God and contradict that trust with our actions. So what does it tell our children when we’re afraid to go to the doctor when we begin experiencing symptoms? What does it teach them when we constantly worry about who will move in next door or when we don’t trust God to provide financially? We teach our children live in fear instead of living by faith when we fail to trust God’s ability above our own.
It took Pat and me awhile to admit that our resources weren’t limited to our own finances. We had God’s unending wealth and provision available to us. It was foolish to attempt to get on our own what God was so willing to provide. We decided to trust God—no matter what.
By putting into practice what we learn from God’s Word, we make knowledge a reality in our life. One step of trust leads to another until we find ourselves living carefree in God’s tender care.
In faith, Pat made an appointment to talk with his old boss. He expressed his desire to return to his old job. Surprisingly, they were thrilled to have him back. Pat resigned from the new job and resumed his old position. Looking back, Pat and I realized we prolonged our peace by fearing the outcome. Once we got around to it, trusting God was so much easier—just the lesson we want to convey to our children.
At first, we were overcome with worry and stress, but we realized that we couldn’t be afraid and exercise faith at the same time. Our house couldn’t have two builders. It was either us or God. Eventually, we gave up our restless cares and let the Lord’s peace flood our soul. We simply rested in God. What better place is there to be? Nowhere—especially when our goal is to teach our children how to live a life of faith.
Copyright 2009, Micca Campbell – All rights reserved.
More Mom Give-Aways
Please share your thoughts on this topic in the comments section and you’ll be part of today’s give-away which includes Micca’s book “Untroubled Heart:Finding Faith that is Stronger than My Fears“ and a year’s worth of Family Devotional Magazines from D6.
To be part of these give-aways, click on “comments” below. PLEASE include your email so we can get in touch if you win and I’d love to know where you are from.