The thing that I want more than anything else in life is for my children to have a love relationship with our Heavenly Father. I pray daily for my children to receive salvation at a young age and live a life serving God. I pray for them, pray with them, we attend church, we listen to K Love (please don’t be dismayed, I don’t pray enough, we miss services here and there and we enjoy our share of secular music – we totally do not have it together) and we talk about God’s love often, but are these the things that will lead my children into a personal relationship with Christ? Maybe, maybe not. I do believe that building a love relationship with anyone takes intentional and consistent effort. We must be intentional with our spouses. We must be intentional in serving God. We must be intentional in raising our children to love God. We can’t make them love God, but we can create an environment that makes them want to love God.
I look at our family. Nate, our youngest child and only son, will more than likely grow up to be a University of Louisville Cardinals fan because my husband is a Cardinal fan. He will even be content to receive ridicule as he cheers for the team that many Kentuckians cheer against. He will live in this manner because he will desire to follow in the footsteps of his dad.
In this same way, our children will seek a relationship with God that is modeled after that of their parents. Our children will want to follow in our footsteps – are we leaving good footprints? This doesn’t mean we have to be perfect. Praise God!! This means we need to be real with our children. We need to serve God. We need to spend time in His Word. We need to ask for forgiveness when we lose it with them or our spouses. We need to have a true love relationship with God that includes us digging into the Word, praying, praising and serving. If we don’t have a personal love relationship with Christ, our children will not be compelled to love God in our homes. Yes, they may come into a saving relationship with God through church, friends or youth group, but our homes need to be that place in which they learn how to make that relationship grow by watching their parents love God with a fervor that is desirable. If they don’t find that in our homes, they will seek mentors outside of our homes. And, I don’t know about you, but I’m a little selfish, I want to hold that role for my children and let others simply enhance my role.