Tuesday, October 20, 2009


"Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." Believe and you will be saved. Believe. That's it. Could it possibly be that simple? Could the fate of my child's soul be in something that easy? One step. Believe. And yet it is so much more. How can we teach belief without brainwash? How can we teach belief without coercion?
The truth is, we cannot. Because it's not just about belief. It's relationship. It's love. It's intimacy. It's friendship. It's knowledge. It's sharing thoughts and feelings and experiences. It's questioning. Belief is the result of teaching all these other things. Belief is not one simple thing. It is the solidifying of all these other things in the bedrock of your heart.
I cannot teach my kids to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. But I can teach them about who He is. I can show them his love and mercy and grace. I can model what it means to run to him in times of joy and sorrow. I can read to them about the truths of his character and prompt them to reach out to Him with question and longings.
No, I cannot teach them to believe. He does that himself. I can only teach them that Jesus is here and waiting for them with open arms. He is good and right and perfect. And because He is who He is, He will take care of the belief himself. I suppose this is where I must lay them in the hands of the One who loves them more than I do - and know that if He is worth believing in, he is also worth trusting.

Lord, I know I will not always say the right things or explain truths the right way or model the right behavior, but somehow please help me teach my children who you are. I pray that their hearts will be protected from the lies thrown at them about who you are and what it means to love and follow you. I pray that you would protect them from legalism and also from mysticism. Help them see the truth through the veil of our culture and the ways of this world. Please give me the words to say to answer questions they may have, and point us all to the scriptures that speak the truth of who you are. Unveil their eyes so they may see the depths of your love and your plans for this world you have created. Help them understand the mysteries of you, and not be confused or led astray by them. I pray they would know your character and your love for them. I trust that you want their hearts in your hand more than I do, and I pray that you would pursue them, love them and care for them their whole lives. Let their eyes see the truth and their hearts be compelled to believe. We lay our children in your loving and capable hands, Lord. Thank you for trusting them to us. Help us be accurate representatives of you in their lives, and help us love them with the love you pour through us. Let our words, actions and relationships point them to you.
In Jesus Name, Amen

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


There are a few pictures I have of my kids that make me well up every time I see them.

I love to see my family love each other. When they hug and laugh and connect...it's what every mother's heart aches for. And when we see it there are no words to express our overflowing joy. We are building relationships minute by minute. We are learning how to love, forgive, show mercy and accept differences. We are setting the course for the future of their relationships.

I know people who are best friends with their siblings. And I know people who haven't talked to their siblings in 20 years. To think the latter could happen to my little ones is a thought that breaks my heart. This week my husband and I witnessed our middle child run past our oldest in the backyard, and the oldest reached out and shoved her to the ground with all his might. Apparently she was doing something he didn't like. We jumped into action. And as we dealt with him, she began playing again. About 30 minutes later he was ready to apologize. The funny thing is, I'm sure she had already forgiven him. She was not angry. She was not ready for revenge. She was worried about him. "Is he getting in trouble?" "Can he play yet?" I think she forgave him about a second after he did it. After all, he's her big brother. And not a smidge of her trust in him was broken. I pray it's always that way. That they always want to whisper about their secrets at bedtime and ride their bikes together and be each other's best friend. I pray they can always trust each other. And that they will always be quick to forgive. And that they will always enjoy each other's company and friendship.

It is obvious to me that this life comes down to love and relationship. It is the essence of who you are. I pray for the relationships between my children. Please protect them from the plans of the Enemy. I pray that they will continue daily to build trust and friendship and mutual respect. And as they go through life, as children and adults, I pray that they will be able to lean on each other for strength and fellowship. Let them sharpen each other, as iron sharpens iron, and I pray with all my heart that they would not wound each other. As they grow, let them be quick to forgive each other's wrongs. Please let them also be able to speak truth in love to one another, so that they will be able to rebuke and set one another straight out of the love in their hearts. And give them ears to hear the truth they speak to each other, so that hearts are not wounded and relationships are not broken because words are tough to hear.
Above all else, Lord, I pray that they would always love one another with your love, and that they would spur one another on towards love and good deeds. Help them to encourage each other and care for each other in love. And I pray that because of their relationships with one another they would bring glory to your name. Amen.