Raising my daughter
Lani, was born, July 4th, 1991, she was 8lbs. 10oz. She was a very easy going baby and child as she grew up.
She had a very keen understand of how and why things happened, she loved arts and crafts, actually thrived on being creative. During her whole life, I hoped she would be a sports enthusiast like me, but she wasn’t. More importantly though, I wanted her to be a Christian.
In my mind this was a huge undertaking, I mean really, how do you teach that? Especially when this wasn’t happening in your home as a child? By reading the bible and pressing on. So as I raised her, I tried to keep this always in the for front of my mind, be a good example, teach her about Jesus, remember your example, don’t be a hypocrite, give her life pictures of Christ, help her to memorize scripture, and on and on. Knowing for the most part, that as a baby, she would only be doing these things I was teaching her as behavior. Until, she reached a certain age and all the outward things connected to her heart and they became her hearts desire.
~God is not dealing with just outward behavior, but what is deep and down and dirty, and in our thoughts.~
As we attended to church each Sunday, my pastor John Macarthur, would encourage us to talk to our young children about sin, and what that means.
How sin is the dominant problem in our lives and we must hate it. So as I took his advice, and did just that, I found out that she didn’t like me to call it sin, when she did something wrong, but “mistakes.” I thought, that was interesting. She would have been about 5 when she told me this. 5 was a key number of understanding in her life I guess.
So I told her that wasn’t going to happen, that we were going to call sin what it was, sin. So as I had to talk to her about things she did wrong, I continued to use this word. As I had to use it when I did something wrong as well. Over time, it just became how we talked about things that we did wrong. I tried not to justify my bad behavior or hers.
By the time she was 14 and went to a winter camp, she said she understood why Jesus died on the Cross. This was a profound moment, she understood what all that sin talk meant as a kid, and said she wanted know more about Jesus. This was a wonderful moment for me, I was so excited that she was now mourning over her sin and understanding that God hated it.
Over time, about the age 18 she was really convicted about the sin in her life, we at the time, were living with family, who didn’t know or honor God, and we had to move out of there quickly.
We settled in Sacramento via Oakland, CA. Found a church home after leaving Southern CA, and started attending our new church by the time she was 19. All the while, trying to encourage her to see the world for what it was, and to not put any hopes in it, but to trust God for all things.
As we attended our new church in Sac as the natives call it, she blossomed and was hungry for Christ, wanting to know and love him now.
So this is what I hoped, and long for, all the while dealing with my own sinful heart. I mean really, how does one sinner, teach another sinner, to hate sin? The answer is, a sinner can’t, but Christ can, and he uses my weaknesses, and my confession of my weakness to show others not to trust in themselves and their weakness, but to trust in Him and His strength, because He conquered sin, He killed it with his sinless/righteous life. So, as she saw my sinfulness, she realized that all of us are in a spiritual battle to hate and to put away the sin in us.
~A Christian has sin in their life but it’s been paid for because Christ conquered sin and death on the cross, so as a Christian repents and turns away from that sin, he’s washed clean and made right with God.~
This also, is quite humbling as a parent because your children look up to you, but as they get older, they start to see the imperfections and sinful character in you, and it’s not pretty. However, I hope parents who love Christ, are being honest about sin from the beginning, so that Christ is exalted, and not their clever parenting style. This is the only way for my child to see Christ, as I submit to Christ, it becomes Christ in me that my daughter see’s. Here is the scripture, about what love is, and that God is love, and as we teach our children about Christ we are loving them fully and completely, but not because I say so, but because of this scripture:
1 Corinthians 13:7 ~ Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ~
This was my hope for her and that’s what I received, that she would be converted to Christ not because of my parenting but because of Christ, and that is my encouragement to you and your children. Shazza ~ Musings&Rants
Lani at grad night 2009. She loves color!