It's true, if you put yourself "out there" to obey something God leads you in, such as writing up this challenge, you'll be tested in it yourself!
This past two weeks, ever since writing up information about this meme, I've been tested daily with the doubts, thoughts, frustrations and excuses I think we all experience when we step out to obey God in anything His word says.
I had begun Timothy Moms Christmas of 2007 in response to the call God was putting on my heart to see the children He'd given me as also the ministry He'd given me and to give myself to their training and teaching them God's word more purposefully. Since that time I've been planning and doing... I guess you'd call them unit studies- subjects I'd talk about and study with my boys including memory verses and activities and such.
Come spring of this year I really desired to study the Biblical Holidays and so I purchased The Family Guide to Biblical Holidays and began a themed teaching through the holidays with my boys. We did a Passover dinner and then went on to study Unleavened Bread and the Firstfruits feasts. We are currently in the midst of the 50 days of counting them omer for the Feast of Weeks, culminating with Pentecost on the 5oth day.
But during this time I'd done some reading in which the author brought up the point about teaching our kids God's word in not such a formalized, "school" way, but rather as Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, "...when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up." I was challenged and convicted and desired to loosen up my rigid scheduling and teaching plan for the boys, to abandon the home version of Sunday school I was practicing and embrace a more Jesus style way. That doesn't mean I abandoned talking with my kids about the holidays and such...we're still counting the Omer and planning a Pentecost party, I'm just loosing the scheduled "sessions" I was doing with them in exchange for a more as we go approach.
So that's what we've been doing the last couple weeks and I've been VERY CHALLENGED. The enemy has thrown all sorts of doubts and excuses my way, many of them I'm sorry to say I've bought into for days at a time. Doubts like, "They aren't learning anything by you singing a scripture song to them!" Excuses like, "You woke up late and started off on the wrong foot. Your kids are grumbling, speaking a verse that's on your heart or singing a worship song to them isn't going to do any good!" I've caught myself feeling very discouraged letting my kids' responses or actions keep me from believing that talking of God's Word all day long as we go is effective.
But those are all lies! I've stepped out in obedience in something that seems so small, less than lesson plans and Bible crafts and "Bible time." And it's the "smallness" of what I'm doing that the enemy is playing on. Jesus said His burden is light. To obey Him in doing what Deut.6:6-7 says doesn't require a degree or a teaching model or even a notebook. But it does require faith. It requires believe God in the "little" things.
I've been very prayerful during this time seeking wisdom for each moment and have also realized that to have the effect of "teaching them diligently," I must first be sure God's word is in my own heart. That's the part of this week's challenge that really spoke to me, "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently..."
What of God's word is in my heart? What message has God really laid on my heart? What speaks to me? That's what I need to teach diligently to my kids. For me, this week (actually the last two weeks) it's been 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love."
Being on guard, enduring in faith, being strong and courageous, doing whatever I do in love is a message God continually speaks to me and leads me in personally. And it's a message I desperately want my kids to heed!
The Seeds Family Worship album Courage has been a great help to me this past two weeks as I've sought to obey Deut.6:6-7. It's full of great music and is pure scripture! It's putting God's word to song in my heart and I've been implementing this challenge by singing 1 Cor.16:13-14 to my boys at night before they go to bed and whenever it comes to mind throughout the day.
I've also been doing more "practical" things around the house- cleaning and jobs and such with them and during that time singing or talking to them about something that the Lord brings to my mind as I'm praying while we clean.
I hope many moms will take up this challenge, whether they link up here or not. I know for me I need to obey the Lord in this and keep walking down this path, giving myself to prayer and the study of God's word so that His word will be in my heart and I can teach it diligently to the sons He's entrusted to me.
Be strong and courageous!