I remember praying with my mom on the way to school every single morning. When I was little, my parents taught me how to pray and let me know God was always there when I needed to talk. I started a running dialogue with God from a young age, and, even now, I send up little prayers and comments all throughout the day. I think the most important thing I learned from my parents and those early morning prayers was God’s ears were always open. When I was too young to read my own Bible stories, I was comfortable enough to walk my little feet up to the throne of God and tell Him whatever was on my heart. He was, and is, always right there with me.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14
When I became a parent, the pressure was on. I was blessed with an upbringing fairly saturated in faith. I knew God early on and happily welcomed Christ into my heart as soon as I began to grasp salvation. As a new mother, when I barely held onto my sanity and tried to remember what time I made the last bottle, I continuously tried to help my little son build a foundation in Christ. Even when he was a tiny baby, I would pray aloud each morning for the day to come. Every night, my husband did and still does pray words of thankfulness for the day and a blessed sleep. I have felt pressure to be the mouthpiece of God in my son’s life, and I finally had to have a personal “come to Jesus” meeting. I had to stop the anxiety and remember why I fell in love with Christ. When I pushed everything else away, I realized I loved God because He loved me.
All I needed as a child was to know there was another Father who loved and cared for me. Because of that love and all of the good things my Bible stories said, I felt free to approach the Lord without hesitation or fear. I wasn’t afraid of where I came from or what I had done. I sought out love. I wanted to spend time talking to my Creator who loved me so much. At the end of the day, I realized all I need to do is show my son God’s love and let him know God’s always listening. As he gets older, we will journey beyond the toddler books and simple words, but love and vulnerability is all that my little boy needs to begin a lifelong relationship with Christ. It is this love that will keep his heart open to Christ even as he ages. It is this vulnerability that will help him look past the concerns of the world and yearn for Christ to come into his life.
As parents, we help prepare the soil for planting and harvest. We tell our little ones of the beauty and compassion of our Savior. We tell them the stories of those in the Bible who experienced God’s mercy and grew from it. We open up the line of communication so our/their Heavenly Father can pour into them and continue to progress the good work and perfect will that was put in place even before they were born. One of the greatest places to start godly parenting is just letting our children know they are immeasurably loved and God wants to hear their voices. God is waiting patiently to hear the thoughts and desires of their little hearts.
Featured image by Naeli Ortiz