Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.
This past week I was invited to a local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group to share about Fostering Christian Faith in our families. This has become a passionate topic for me because 27 years ago, as the young mother of a three-year old and just a few months pregnant with our second child, God planted the idea of homeschooling our daughter into the heart of my husband. As he shared these thoughts with me I literally ran down the hall to our bedroom and cried big tears of fear. I asked my husband how was I going to teach our little girl, especially how to read. His response shocked me. He said, “Don’t worry about teaching her to read, I want you to teach her who God is by reading the word of God to her every day and teach her to talk to God through prayer. I am still so grateful for a loving and patient Heavenly Father who cast that vision into our home when our first child was just three years old. God knew I needed time to embrace the vision He had placed on my husband’s heart for our family and He also knew I needed to take baby steps of faith by building my confidence in Him as He helped me to prepare the simple Bible lessons each day for our little girl. It has been 26 years since we opened our hearts and home to the lifestyle of homeschooling. I am still amazed at God’s grace in my life. For the last 26 years, He has helped me to follow the vision He gave our family even though I had such doubt and was SO afraid to fail. Over the years as I continued to seek Him every day, He has given me many creative ideas and of course His word to help me teach our children who He is. Over the years my passion and love for God has grown and so has my heart to foster faith in my family. It is important to understand the idea came from a God who cared more for our one little girl 27 years ago, then we did. We did not have the wisdom so He gave us vision and then we had to choose to follow it with Him as our constant guide. Helping us to foster faith in our children.
I want to encourage each of you to open your hearts and pray. Ask God to reveal His plan for ways to foster faith in your own family. God called us to homeschool because He knew my faith needed to grow, I needed to move over and let Him lead. This was the avenue God chose for our family but that will not be the road for all of you. We serve a creative God who knows exactly how He wants to help you teach who He is and introduce His ways to your families. So let’s start with an important ingredient to fostering Christian Faith in others, surrender. Are you willing to surrender to His call to go and make disciples? (Matthew 28:19-20) Our children are the most important people we have been given to influence and mold into someone with Godly character and faith in Christ. Our success is built on four key facts that we must believe.
- We are fiercely loved by our Heavenly Father. He loved us so much He sent His son to pay the ultimate sacrifice that we could have a forever relationship with Him. If that was not enough He trusted us and called us to share that love and His ways with others.
- We are qualified to teach who He is because of Jesus in us. We are His chosen people and we belong to God.(1 Peter 2:9)
- We are called to disciple our children and others God places in our lives. We need not worry because the One who called us is faithful and He promises to do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24) We are asked to share our faith by the example of our lives and by using God’s word as the source of truth and Godly living.
- We are equipped to do it because God has given us the gift of His helper the Holy Spirit in our hearts that directs us with Godly wisdom and knowledge as we share with others. God promises to equip us for every good work. ( 2 Timothy 3:17)
Fostering Christian faith in our own life and in others takes commitment and daily vigilance. We must fight so that our hearts hear God and respond with obedience. May you choose to put on the full armor of God each day (Ephesians 6) not part of it but ALL of it so you may defend yourself against the schemes of the devil. He does not want you to succeed in teaching your families or others about God and His character revealed to us through His word. We must choose to spend time with God so we can hear His leading in how we should foster faith in our families and others. Some days it will be done out of discipline because we know it is best for us, but the more time we spend with God, the more our hearts will long to hear from Him. Each day spent focused on Jesus helps to build a foundation in our hearts of love and devotion that we must share with others. He transforms us from the inside out and others will see and believe He is real by the way we live our lives for Him. I have learned to accept my role as the assistant coach in training up my children in the ways of the Lord. God is the head coach and He holds their hearts in His hands. I cannot change the hearts of my children, only God can. My job is to assist in what He is doing in their hearts to foster faith in Him. I have learned to be faithful to teach them His word, to set the example of living my life with Him in charge, and spending purposeful time in prayer every day for the hearts of my children and others He has allowed in my life to love and disciple. Galatians 6:9 challenges us to not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. The only way to not lose heart is to keep our eyes focused on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and allow Him to lead us and guide us as we strategically plan to foster faith in the hearts of our families and others. By obeying God’s command we teach others to observe (comply with) all He has instructed us in His word. May we accept the call to disciple our children and others with courage trusting God with the outcome.
Take a moment and ask God for the game plan for your family and others in your life. Listen carefully for His leading to be the assistant coach. We need to assist Him in the work of fostering faith in who He is and in the promises of His word.