Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 057 God's Mission for Parents
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #057 – God’s Mission for Parents
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to grow in Jesus together. I am blessed to be back with you to discuss more ways to live with eternal perspective.
Would you like to know one of the highlights of my days? It’s when the girls and I share Bible and devotional time. The topics change with different studies, but right now we are studying Revelation. As powerful as it is to experience studying God’s word together, I know this is not enough to ensure that they have a solid foundation on which to build a life of passionate devotion to God.
Prayer time together always precedes Bible study, and we frequently pray together through the day as needs arise or if we hear of someone who needs prayer. We always try to stop what we are doing and pray in that moment. I also ask my girls to pray for me. I want them to know I rely on the Lord to provide what I need and I want them to see that it is acceptable to not have all of the answers or abilities on their own.
I want my chldren to be comfortable relying on God , no matter the need.
Despite enjoying the blessings of purposely sharing this study time together, my youngest was not hungry to search the scriptures alone. It was time to encourage her to commit to the next step because I know she has a growing love for Jesus, but it cannot flourish if she does not root herself in God’s word. I knew had to reach her through one of her love languages. So now, before she receives any evening screen time, she has to have read from her Bible that day. It was time to develop the pattern that would give her the lifeline she will need to cling to in this world.
Here’s the truth: we all have time for what is deeply important to us. I want God and His truths and words to be the oxygen required to make it through her day.
How will she crave God if she doesn’t acquire a taste for Him?
We settled on a schedule and I guided her with several suggestions to begin reading. Do you know what our best surprise was? My girl realized the joy of seeking and learning from God on her own. She learned it was fun to discover more about the wisdom of God and the people highlighted in the Bible. As she read Proverbs, she found the wisdom so fascinating that she read beyond the scheduled reading sections.
As you may know, I am raising my second set of children. Like you, I learn as I go. Since I had my first two at 18 and 21, my parenting skills were similar to how my husband and I were parented. We made changes from what we didn’t like or appreciate growing up, but the rest was patterned after what we had experienced. I was not a follower of Jesus as a young mother. Thankfully, over the years, I have been blessed to discover and accept Jesus and to allow Him to mold me as He desires each moment. Jesus reveals mistakes and ideas to me often, as He does to all who seek Him diligently. I’m honored to be able to share what I have learned through trial and error, plus what God has revealed as I have studied Him and attempted to model my life after Jesus.
Mothers, in order for our children to live a life that God would deem successful, we must continuously sharpen our personal skills to live each day with a perspective beyond the moment. Our heart and mind must be set in alignment with a compass focused on God, our True North. We are responsible for ensuring we have done everything to make Him known. Many children leave home without strong faith to set them apart in this world or one that equips them to cleave to God and allow Him to handle their decisions and battles. Ultimate parenting is God-centered and focused.
Make each moment you have with your child count for eternity.
You do not need to have all of the answers, but it is your duty and opportunity to guide your child to the One who does.
The Bible is a God-inspired, perfect source of guidance, wisdom, and direction for parents. God purposely and generously offered His word to us as a guide for life, parenting, and relationships. As we study the Bible, and come to know Him more clearly, we develop skills needed to realize God’s commands, promises, and guidance consistently and introspectively. We feel and notice Him resetting our mind, heart, attitude, actions, thoughts, and behavior. As the Holy Spirit lives in us and we access and release His power through a maturing walk with God, others notice, as well. Each change we experience can impact the eternity of those around us, especially our spouse and children.
When we read the Bible, we must consider the meanings and truths beyond what we see. There is a depth that exposes every need we have, as well as the solutions to living a God-centered life complete with joy and peace. Our children were not an after-thought. God provides for our need, as well as theirs, through His guidebook of life, the Bible.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
In order to direct our children to Him, we must already know God.
Today, I want to read from one of my favorite areas of the Bible. The instructions God reveals are integral to pleasing our Heavenly Father and completing the task He has for parents and followers of Him.
In Deuteronomy, God clearly directs us in what we are to hold as a sacred parental responsibility. This duty should be seen as a privilege when we already strive to live with a heart and mind set for Him.
I want to share some of my favorite passages, because the words are such clearly instructive verses we are wise to follow.
Deuteronomy 6:1-2a says, “These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy, and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the Lord your God as long as you live.”
God graciously gifts His people with formal, authoritative orders for our guidance and protection. What may seem binding or restrictive is meant to free us.
Reverent fear for the Lord God isn’t mentioned often in society today. People, and many churches, tend to pass it by in favor of what they consider the “feel good” love of Jesus. Instead of facing God’s sovereignty, they tend to prefer speaking of gentleness and humbleness. Yet, God is a jealous God who wants our complete devotion. The author of excellence and creation, who created each of us for a purpose, deserves it. When we teach our children and grandchildren to humble themselves before the Lord and love and serve Him as He desires, we are gifting them beyond measure and for eternity.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 says, “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.”
The greatest act of obedience we offer God is to love Him freely and passionately. In this passage, we are commanded to love God with our heart, soul, and all of our strength. This act is foundational for all of living. Do you believe we can be commanded to love? You may have heard that love is a choice. I believe that to be true.
The best definition I’ve read about the love God offers and commands from us came from Dr. David Jeremiah. He wrote that, “Love in Hebrew is not confined to feelings; the term heart centers on the intellect, sensibilities, and will. So when God commands that His people love Him, it means to decide to cleave to Him, and Him alone. The command includes soul, which here is a synonym for heart – the true essence of a person. Strength translates a phrase that means, Give it all you have!”
We are to love God with everything we are and have. God deserves and is worthy of our passionate love.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says, “And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Breathing God in as the air we must have to sustain life, allowing Him to be head of our life, sharing Him naturally with our children, yet maintaining awe, and teaching them to honor and respect the Lord should flow naturally and readily because we love Him. Obeying the command to love God is a lifetime action of passionate devotion that becomes more meaningful daily as our love deepens. The God of all creation is not to be an after-thought. We are to willingly include Him in all.
Deuteronomy 6:20-25 says, “In the future your children will ask you, ‘What is the meaning of these laws, decrees, and regulations that the LORD our God has commanded us to obey? “Then you must tell them, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with his strong hand. The Lord did miraculous signs and wonders before our eyes, dealing terrifying blows against Egypt and Pharaoh and all his people. He brought us out of Egypt so he could give us this land He had sworn to give our ancestors. And the Lord our God commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear Him so He can continue to bless us and preserve our lives, as He has done to this day. For we will be counted as righteous when we obey all the commands the Lord our God has given us.”
Mothers, we are God-assigned managers and stewards of His children.
God commands us to love Him and teach our children to love Him. We are to mentor that passionate, devoted love for God that is for Him, and Him alone. Our children are to experience us loving God without the entrapment of idolatry in this world as we seek Him with our mind, heart, emotions, talents, time, and purpose. We are to live a lifestyle of worship as we seek, love, and follow Him so passionately that they will, too. When we pass on the love God commands, what He has done for us, and a strong faith to sustain and mature it, God lives fully through us and attracts our children more strongly than the world.
Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”
When our child sees us live with a passionate and consistent love for Christ that lovingly flows through all we are and do, they begin to recognize the difference He makes.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for Your word and the Holy Spirit that lives inside believers. You have offered everything we need to equip us to live with a passion You deserve. Help us to clear our heart and mind to focus on what is important to You and show it to our children and others around us. Help us to study and know Your word so that it stands as our guide against the noise and distractions from this loud, harsh world. Teach us to live our life with the eternal perspective Jesus carried so that all we do honors and pleases You. May we bring you joy. May you carry that through to our children as we teach them to love and obey You, as well. In Your holy and precious name we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to this episode. Please visit terrihitt.com to access podcast episodes housed in one convenient location, read blog posts, transcripts, and access additional resources designed to mature your walk with Christ and encourage you to raise or influence children to chase Jesus instead of this world.
Be sure to sign up for my email list to be notified when my next resource, “Scattering Seeds: Planting Character and Faith in Your Child” releases soon. This eBook is an excellent encouragement and support for mothers or grandmothers of young children.
I pray this podcast draws you nearer to Jesus and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up and find new ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.