Do you remember that day?
That joyous day? The day of celebration? The day your child was born? I will never forget when our first child, Rachelle was born. It had been an unusual nine months. The conception celebration in a dumpling house in Hawthorn. Sharing my bed with my wife and a huge pregnancy pillow, trips to strange places to find salty food to feed the weird and wonderful cravings that pregnancy brings upon a woman. Friends asking me “How do you feel, you will be dad soon?”, and me not knowing what to say
Then early one morning I’m lying in bed when Lisa yells out “my water has broken”. It was surreal driving to the hospital early that Sunday morning, pulling up to the hospital and being taken into the ward. The nurses sat us down and politely suggested we go home. I will never forget Lisa’s horrified face. Her super-high pain threshold hiding the agony she was feeling. The nurse left and Lisa looked me straight in the eye and said “I’m not going home!” I said, “let’s pray.”
I prayed “Lord thank you that we won’t need to go home, and thank you that within two and a half hours the baby will be born.” Lisa jumped in “No, one hour!” Then the nurse re-entered the room and decided to let us stay. From that moment on the pregnancy went into acceleration mode and a few half hours later Rachelle Grace Austin was born.
The love I felt for Rachelle was immediate, I was a dad and there was no better experience, no better moment in my life, apart from possibly my wedding day. I held her in my arms and my parenting journey began.
There’s something about being a parent that naturally prefers your children to others. There’s a grace and a favour a mum and dad have for their kids that God has wired into the human race. We will always put our children first. We see our children through eyes of love and preference. We are jealous for our children. We will always put our kids first.
Isn’t this our Spiritual Father’s heart for his children? When we are born again into the Kingdom of God, do we not experience this same favour, grace and preference from our Father in Heaven? As parents doesn’t our heart cry out for our children to know God and experience the same love we experience day in, day out, with our Daddy God?
So how can we be intentional as parents to lead our children into a personal relationship with God?
That’s a wonderful question isn’t it?
A scripture that I believe answers this question well comes from the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7 Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
This scripture talks about living a lifestyle of worship to God. It speaks of living in intimate relationship with God so that there is a natural overflow into the family home. Talk about God’s work and his word at work in your life. Tell your children who God is and what he has done for you in the morning, the day and the night. Cultivate a lifestyle of relationship with God that is naturally passed down to your children.