Monday my 17-year-old son Robbie and I were at Costco, and saw a mom pushing a cart with one child inside and another walking ahead. Mom was struggling to keep from running over the walking child who seemed much more interested in her fingernails than in keeping pace.
Out of the blue, Robbie asked me, “Mom, is raising kids as hard as people say?”
Wow – talk about a teachable moment. It was one of those where I knew I need to pray fast before answering … so much hung on my answer, like would I ever be a grandmother …
So I answered, “Well …. (long pause) … it depends on the child.” (still stalling …)
At that point I was thinking about how this 6’2″ boy-man wouldn’t take a bottle until he was 10 months old (should I mention that?) And that same hulking son didn’t sleep through the night until he was 10 months old either … nor would he sit in a car seat without screaming … and so I changed the subject.
Seriously, I told him what a joy it was to raise him, and even though it was hard, how I would do it all over again …
But there would be some things I would do differently. One of them would be to practice a daily devotional life with my children. Oh, I thought about it a lot. But never did settle on a daily habit. Which is one of the reasons I wanted to introduce you to my friend Lynn Cowell. She’s one of the most intentional moms I know. And she puts her words into actions.
Lynn has a passion for teenage girls and their moms. And has recently released her second book, this one a devotional for teen girls. It’s called “Devotions for a Revolutionary Year” . It would make a great gift for a girl you love, or it could be something you’d work through with your daughter, granddaughter or a special girl at church.
Today, Lynn is sharing her thoughts on teaching our children the Bible. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:
Growing up, I often heard this song blaring on my big sister’s radio “Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping…into the future.” As a child in elementary school, those words had little meaning to me. As a mom of two high school girls and a son already transplanted in college life, it means so much more.
Trying to make the most of these days flying by all too quickly, my mind often drifts to all of the things I need to teach my girls before they leave home.
Though their rooms are a mess today, have I taught them how to clean?
Have we spent enough time together in the kitchen? Are they able to make a meal on their own?
What about car maintenance? Will they remember to get their oil changed and tires rotated?
While all of those things are important, one concern constantly nagged at my heart.
Do they know God’s Word?
Life for today’s kids is so much different than in my slower paced world that played the Steve Miller Band classic. Every moment is assigned a task: homework, softball, chores, youth group, piano lessons, volunteering. All the busy, all the good things, crowding out the best: teaching our children eternal truths.
I grew tired of crawling in bed each night, feeling like I had failed again. My children were no closer to understanding the Bible than they were the day before. I knew I had to do something to change that.
There is a certain peace and beauty that comes into our lives when we make teaching our children God’s word. When this priority is in place, it brings calmness to our homes and into our daily lives.
For my girls and me, that time is now in the morning. Before the roar of my daughter’s pick-up down the drive, I read them God’s word. Some days it is a few verses from Proverbs. Other days it is a page from a devotional. I then pray over them, bringing awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence inside of them as they walk through the double doors of their high school.
My girls don’t know every story in the Bible, nor can they quote many verses with the reference too. Each day, though, they are having their hearts filled with unconditional, perfect love. Just as I wouldn’t send them to school with empty stomachs, I no longer send them to school with empty hearts.
When could you find time to pour God’s truth into your child? Like me, is over breakfast a good time? Maybe as they crawl into bed or in the car on the way to school is a better fit. The time of day is not important. What is important is that we find the time in the day.
Thank you Lynn. The take away for me is it’s never to late to start.
I hope you’ll take some time and visit Lynn on her blog. I think you’ll enjoy getting to know her a bit more. I’ve included her bio below.
In His love,
Lynn Cowell is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and the author of “His Revolutionary Love” and “Devotions for a Revolutionary Year.” She makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, Greg, of 25 years and their three children. The Cowell’s enjoy hiking, well-worn sweatshirts and anything that combines chocolate and peanut butter.