I recently read an article about the importance of not just reading to your child but having your child see you read. Yes, I thought. That makes sense. If Fisher sees that I enjoy books, she will be more likely to love reading as well. It’s the do as I do teaching model, not just as I say.
And then I went to Chick-fil-a. I bought her a grilled chicken nugget kid’s meal with fruit and myself a fried chicken sandwich and waffle fries. I cut up the chicken and fruit and spread it out before her. I unwrapped my sandwich and started eating but Fisher wasn’t eating. She was watching what I was eating and it wasn’t what she had. I put a piece of grilled chicken in her mouth, she took a few chews and spit it out. I tried the fruit. She did the same. So I gave her a bite of my sandwich and she wanted more. She wanted my fries too. We ended up sharing my meal and my mind wondered back to that article. Fisher doesn’t need me to just feed her nutritious foods. She needs to see me eating for heath as well.
In case I still wasn’t getting it, Fisher recently started writing. I have never intentionally taught Fisher how to hold a pen. I haven’t taught her that pens write on paper. Or even which end of a pen writes. Yet, she showed me I did teach her simply by writing in front of her. She is watching. All. Of. The. Time.
You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.
Did you catch that? The first part. We as parents are to lay up God’s words in our own heart and soul because it’s a gigantic part of how we take care of our child’s heart and soul. And then God gets really practical here. (Thank you, Lord because this momma needs some straightforward advice sometimes.) The word of God needs to be before us at all times, bound to our hands, in front of our eyes.
Have you ever thought about this? It is God’s desire that all should know how to read. The God that created mountains from nothing and told stars where to shine, could have put his word anywhere but he chose to put it in a book so that we could come to know him. If you are reading this post, what grace we have been shown! That truth needs to stir my heart to read and reread and read some more the Word daily! And when Fisher sees me devouring His word, like it is sweeter than honey, she gets a glimpse into a momma’s heart that longs to know her creator. The more I fill my mind with His truth, the more my affections are transformed to those of Jesus’s and I am lead to worship and respond and OBEY!
With her watchful eye, Fisher is going to learn to love God largely by how I love my God. Is he just something I give nominal acknowledgement to when I need help, or on Sundays or is he the worthy king of my life that deserves every once of my being?
We talk about the things we love. If you love horses, you probably talk about them. If you love music or food or travel, it’s on your mind and you share it. The same is with God. If you love God, you talk about him. You share him with your neighbors, your family and most definitely your children. It’s the overflow of your heart. You can’t help it. The love and affection you have towards Jesus spills out of your mouth and infects everything. His words and character mark your very words and actions in the mornings and your evenings. They affect your car rides. Oh, especially your car ride conversations… hello, captive audience! You share Jesus with your children when you’re doing nothing and when you are running errands. In your coming and in your going!
Now I don’t write this to say I do this perfectly. Actually, I’ve been having to repent. A lot. And often. And sometimes about the same creeping sin that says my time is mine. That lie will make you bitter and oh so angry when you want to do something you cannot. But God has been so gracious to me by igniting desires for him that I had numbed through selfish desire. My time in the word has been solid and I pray he gives me the power to remain there. To fight the temptations of this world to distract and take my affections from him. And I pray Fisher’s love for him grows as she sees me lose myself in his love, mercy and grace. May the momma that is here today, not be tomorrow as he transforms me into his image. For Fisher needs less of me and more of Jesus.