What is the greatest gift that we can give our children?
As expected, it is not the physical gifts that our children will cherish, but the time and experiences they have with us. Moments of giggles and snuggles, walking and swinging, reading and learning- while the specific days and times will not be remembered, the feeling of love and contentment will be a lasting memory. Yet, there is an even more powerful gift that we can give our children: the knowledge of Jesus, God, the Holy Trinity, and the LOVE that surrounds us every moment of our life whether we remember or not. We show the love of Christ daily when we love and cherish our children, when we make small sacrifices for them. We teach them about Christ through stories, and reading the Bible, through family prayers during meals and before bed. We also show them the love of Christ through the fellowship at church.
|My girly girl--Loves dressing up for Church!|
My daughter loves church. It is a place that she looks forward to going every Sunday! She looks forward to the breakfast, time in Sunday school, the music we sing and the fun time in nursery during the sermon (one day she will truly hear the sermons, but until then our two year old still goes to nursery most Sundays).
Yesterday we had our "Ash Wednesday" service directly following our Pancake Shrove Tuesday meal. She had done really well “helping” us cook and serve. Although the service of ashes is the most important part, I wasn’t sure if we would stay… it had been a long day, my girl would need to be asleep soon, she was sticky from all the syrup and so a bath was definitely a must before bed. BUT when it was announced that the service would be starting soon, my girl shouted “YAY!! Its about to start! Mommy lets go! We need to get our seat, the Jesus music is about to start!!!” She was sooo excited and I couldn’t help but be led by that little hand into the sanctuary.
Did she sit still? NO..she tried...for a 2 year old that had just eatten lots of syrupy goodness and bacon
Did she talk too loudly? YES...she tried to whisper..that is definitely a skill that still needs practice😊
Did she pay attention to the sermon? No….she focused during the music and that was it
But she was there, in God’s House. Seeing those she loves worshiping God; and though she doesn’t understand much, she will in time.
As we stood to get the cross of ashes on our forehead, she was very serious. When we left the sanctuary, she asked what was on her forehead and I tried my best to explain. We have taught of God and Jesus’ unending love, how He provides us with everything and we are thankful, how they live in our hearts, want us to be happy, and for us to be good. We have not gotten into the depths of God’s love and the sacrifice he made.
She knows that on Easter Sunday, Jesus is risen but we haven’t talked about what happened on Friday.
Last night I tried. I told her that God loved us and the world SOO much that He gave us Jesus. That Jesus died on the cross for our sins and He Saved Us.
She teared up. In a heartbroken voice, “Jesus died?? But…”
Such a genuine emotion. Such raw sadness for the Jesus that she has grown to love. Her sadness broke my heart. I quickly went on to tell her that it was ok!
Because what happens on Easter? “He is Risen!”
Yes, my sweet girl, He is Risen…He Comes back and he is with us ALWAYS.
What a beautiful message of salvation and hope. What better joy can a mother have than to know that her child is a child of God. That as much love and protection I can provide her, which feels insurmountable, is but a miniscule fraction to the love and protection of her Father in Heaven.
On our way home, we listened to our Jesus music. This is her absolute favorite and she sings along with all her heart. The music is the classic, old faithfuls- a beautiful CD by “her cowboy man,” Alan Jackson. To hear her little voice singing along “Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him”. What comfort in those words. How I strive to trust him daily, how I strive to let him be in control, how I strive to be the mother and Christian that I know my daughter needs me to be.
Later that night, her Daddy asked her if she remembered what the cross on her forehead meant, she looked at him very seriously and said "It's ash. Jesus died. But don't be sad, he comes back! Yay!"
So remember mamas, there will DEFINITELY be those church services where you will question why you even went. Your effort and attention will be focused much more on the squirmy babbling child(ren) beside you than the sermon being preached or the hymns being sung, but that is ok.
You are setting an example for your children. You are creating a routine in their lives that you hope will continue for the rest of theirs- and for their children after that.
And I promise you, for every moment where you question your sanity, there will be moments of pride and peace - the first time your little one starts saying “Amen” after each prayer- the times that your little one claps in delight after a hymn is sung- the times they close their eyes and bow their head in prayer (and continues to peep to see if your eyes are still closed and not watching them 😄 )- the first time they drop a coin in the collection plate that they brought from their own piggy bank at home- and so many other precious little moments.
These are the moments that remind us that it IS important, and they ARE growing in their love for Jesus. 💓
But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. -Luke 18:16
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. -Proverbs 22:6