Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart,
all your soul, and all your mind."
As parents, we get to help shape the lives of our children. While I understand that God has given them traits and gifts and circumstances that we cannot change, I know that we have the greatest influence on our children. The decisions we make, the priorities we set, and the goals that we work toward all have a say in who our children become once they leave our home.
I have a 7 year old daughter, a 5 year old daughter, and a 9 month old son. I think a lot about my influence on them. I work hard to teach them to be kind and compassionate, have good manners, and to always do their best. I have a laundry list of things that I want them to know when they leave my home. For example, I want them to love learning. I want them to know how to manage money and know how to do their laundry. I'd love for them to know a musical instrument and really, really love it if they cleaned their rooms without me asking them. I want them to want to serve others and I want them to make choices that are healthy and good. I want them to know how to change a tire and how to tag up in baseball.
But when I truly think about it, none of these things really matters unless they have a heart that loves God. I want them to know God . . . not just of God. I want them to have a relationship with Him and want to serve others because they are overflowing with His love and grace. I hope that they will seek Him and really, really know His face. At the end of the day, after the homework and piano lessons are done, I fall asleep praying that all three of my children would have hearts that love God. I can't give that to them, only God can. I pray that the Holy Spirit would fill them and sustain them because no matter what I do, I cannot give them that faith. Only God can. So I pray wholeheartedly that their little hearts love Him now and continue to love Him even when they grow up and make decisions for themselves. Because in the end, that's all that matters.
Dear God, Thank you, thank you for loving us. Thank you for doing for us what we couldn't do for ourselves. Thank you for your love and grace and for sending your Son take our place on the cross. You have given us such wonderful gifts in our children. Please give them hearts that love you. Amen.