Some principles I live by are from the Scriptures. I have “life verses” which have shaped me since my youth. I have tried to live by them consistently so they have naturally flowed to my children. I modeled them before teaching them. I would not expect them to do things I was not doing.
I live in trust in a heavenly Father who is good and loving and who is the Source of my life everyday. “In Him I we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28
For this reason, ever since I can remember,I have been going to Him each morning to spend time with Him, to hear His voice, to receive His love.
One of my life verses is from Isaiah 50:4,5
“The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue to know the word that sustains the weary. He awakens me morning by morning. He wakens my ear to learn like one being taught. I have not drawn back. Because the Lord helps me I will not be disgraced.I have set my face like a flint and I will not be put to shame. Who among you fears the Lord and obeys His word. Let him who walks in darkness who has no light. TRUST IN THE LORD and RELY UPON HIS GOD. “
Trusting and relying upon God has been essential. He helps me and encourages me, comforts and teaches me, gives me my identity and confidence every day.
I do truly believe the words that Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone but on every word that proceeds from God. ” Mt 4:4
The word is my daily spiritual food.
A few years ago I gave a talk at Inter-Varsity Christian fellowship’s large group meeting at William and Mary where my two oldest daughters attended college. it was on the effectual power of the word of God. I remember when my daughter Jessica introduced me, it was one of my proudest moments as a parent. She said something to the effect of, ” My mom doesn’t just talk about the word of God, she lives by it. I don’t remember a day in my growing years that she wasn’t sitting in her chair each morning spending time with the Lord and reading the word. She modeled a life devoted to the Lord’s presence and voice daily.”I was so emotional when she said those words, which were unexpected, that I wasn’t sure if I could do my power-point presentation.
If we want our children to love God with all their hearts and walk in His ways, we need to model it in our lives!
The life verse I have lived by in my parenting is also from Isaiah:
“All your sons(and daughters) shall be taught by the Lord and great will be your children’s peace. In righteousness you will be established. Tyranny will be far from you and you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed from you…no weapon formed against you will prosper. ” Is 54:13, 14, 17a
There are several places in the word where it is prophesied that God’s people will be taught by Him (Micah 4:2, John 6:45, Hebrews 8:11) Jesus says that when He leaves this earth He would send the Holy Spirit who will “ teach you all things and remind you of everything I said. ” ” The Holy Spirit , the Spirit of Truth will guide you into all truth.” John 14:26,27a, 16:12
In the Isaiah God promises that He will teach our children. I claimed and proclaimed this passage over my children regularly. They are not mine, but belong to the Lord and I am simply the steward of them for the time i was raising them. I was a steward who would have to give an account of how I spent my time with them.
What a relief to know that God was teaching my children and that I was just partnering with Him. The Holy spirit was leading them into all truth, with the truth of His word which ” never returns void but effectually accomplishes what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I have sent it. Isaiah 55:11
In a baby dedication at our church last night, what was emphasized was that our children belong to the Lord-that we are to give them over to Him and as we do , He cares for them, teaches them, and causes them to walk in His ways. The verse that was read was Isaiah 29: 23″When they see their children, the work of my hands, they will keep my name holy , they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob and they will stand in awe of the God of Israel.”
The powerful and comforting fact is that God is the one who causes our children to walk in His ways: ” I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. AND I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT IN YOU AND CAUSE YOU TO FOLLOW MY DECREES AND BE CAREFUL TO WALK IN MY WAYS. YOU WILL BE MY PEOPLE AND I WILL BE YOUR GOD.” Ezekiel 36:26,27
I pray you are able to relinquish your children to the Lord as Abraham did Isaac, and that you are able to partner with Him in teaching them the ways of the Lord..