Mummy and Tallulah, Women’s Conference 2013
At every baby dedication my father has done he always shares how as parents we need to live our faith out loud in front of our children. To never hide away whenever we need to pray or worship, but to instead invite our children into our prayer closet so that they can see the relationship we have with our Saviour Jesus.
This is definitely something my parents did in front of me growing up. Every day I would walk down stairs in the morning to see my dad on his knees in the living room and my mum reading her Bible. My mum would then make me some toast and I would snuggle up with her as she read me the Bible. Precious memories that I will never forget. I didn’t understand it, but I loved listening. I listened to her until I was old enough to read my own Bible. And then every day I read a chapter of the Bible. This was never a job or a punishment. I always felt very grown up and would make connections to the stories I read in my Bible to the stories I was being told at Church or from my parents own Bible readings. It was such a natural thing in our family to read the Bible.
Another thing my parents always did was give Praise to God for every victory, blessing and accomplishment and cry out in prayer whenever there was a need, hurt, or worry. To this day the first thing I see my mum and dad do when they wake up is read their Bible and pray. My dad now has the luxury to not get out of bed until he’s met with God (I’m sure that day will come for me – in about 100 years), but they still dedicate their mornings to God.
My dad and oldest brother, Josh in Nigeria ’89
How do we as parents show our faith to our children? Because I can tell you right now, taking them to church is not enough! They need to see it in action. They need to see how faith in Jesus Christ actually makes any kind of difference in their lives. Faith without actions is dead (James 2:26). Strong words but oh so true. Our children learn from our actions so much faster than our words. We need to be a living example of Jesus in their lives. Does mummy do a victory dance and say, ‘Oh yeah, I did it’ when she succeeds at potty training yet another toddler or does she shout out ‘PRAISE GOD we did it!!’ does she go into a complete panic attack when a child gets hurt or does she immediately start praying for healing, protection and comfort for her little one. Such a simple shift in our attitude that can make the world of difference between our children growing up to serving and loving Jesus to not getting why they have to bother going to church anymore.
I absolutely love to pray and worship. I find myself constantly praying in my head and out loud, especially in the Spirit when I ‘get a feeling’ about something or someone. But I don’t run to my room every time I need to do this or go silent on my kids. I just let it come out in the midst of whatever is going on. I’ve been watching Disney movies with the kids and had profound revelation of God’s Word or his love for me that I just have to share it with the kids. “Wow, you see we’re all kings and queens in God’s family, just like Simba, we just have to always remember who we are.” Totally profound to me that the Lion King can teach me so much about being part of God’s family (more on that later). But he does it every day in some little way.
If praying and singing out loud doesn’t come naturally to you then you need to start practising. Are you living your faith out loud in your home? Because if you can’t express your love to your Saviour in your home you’ll find it almost impossible to show it outside to the world. Giving praise to God for every little thing, like finding their missing blanket, or fixing a broken toy, finishing all their food for the first time all week or getting dressed all by themselves is a little faith expression that will transform your kids lives as they grow up.
So go ahead, sing out that worship song as loud as you can, have a dance party to some praise music and show your kids how fun it can be to love Jesus. Pray with them when there’s a prayer need and read your Bible with them on your laps. Precious moments like this make Kingdom builders of our children. Just think, every day you are evangelising, witnessing and getting people saved right in your own home. What a privilege it is to have our children part of God’s family forever. And in family no one gets left behind.