Lately I've been thinking about the impressions that I'm leaving on my children. I know heavy stuff, huh? It's very humbling to realize that I know absolutely nothing about raising children up to know and love Jesus. Every day I feel as though I'm just blindly directing them and guiding them, and praying that somehow they'll see Jesus and His love for them despite my faulty parenting. I've obviously studied the Bible on the subject of parenting and read several awesome books on the topic, and I'm extremely blessed to be surrounded by Christian families who have the same desires to raise their children up that Erik and I do, but seeing as how I've never done this before- and even if I had no two children are ever the same!- I feel indescribably inadequate to parent my children.
Sure I can justify myself saying that we do all the "Christian" things with our kids. We take them to Church, we pray before meals, say bedtime prayers, and read Bible stories. We do little catechisms here or there and are striving to train them in first time obedience, but sometimes I have to check myself. Am I doing these things because I love Jesus with such a fierce passion that my hearts desire is for my children to love Jesus with all their hearts? Or is it just my pride motivating me to strive towards these things? It's a hard question to answer, because if I'm really honest sometimes my pride is what motivates me to train my children. But worse than that would be not confronting these thoughts and letting it take root, and then when Jack and Anna (and the new baby!) grow up and start having questions of their own, or perhaps rebelling against what they've been taught, I would have to stare at the fact that I made an idol out of parenting. That none of it was genuine or pure, but instead I made it something disgusting.
I have been praying fervently, and will for as long as I'm their mom, for wisdom in training these children to love God. Obviously I believe that ultimately it's all up to God as to whether or not these children live their lives for Him or not, and I am aware that I am going to make lots of mistakes, but as Christian parents we clearly have an obligation to teach them diligently. And you know what my mind keeps coming back to? The scripture where Jesus tells the people that the glass is dirty on the inside but clean on the outside. I need to first look at my own personal relationship with God before I'm too quick to harp on my children's sin. It's not been an easy thing to realize, but really while it's good that my kids know how to pray and are familiar with Bible stories, is it going to do that much good when they're ten? If my kids are anything like I was, and most kids, they can sense a phony. I don't ever want my kids to think I'm perfect(or to think that I think I'm perfect!), and never be able to share their struggles, their hearts with me. When I think about the impression I want to leave on my children, I want them to know I love Jesus, but I also want them to realize that I'm not any better than them and I'm on the same journey they're on.