Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Does it Matter if Our Kids See Us?

Bible Small for Blog 

A few days ago, I read an eBook called Maximize Your Mornings.  The author encourages early rising in order to assure that time in the Word, prayer and exercise actually happen each day.  The idea is to be able to do these things BEFORE anything or anyone else is needing your attention. 

While this is certainly logical and efficient, and even the way I generally study personally, I have began to wonder where it is that my kids learn HOW to study the Bible if they never SEE me studying the Bible. 

I have to ask myself, am I willing to MODEL this personal communion with the Lord to my children?  It will no doubt mean more work and less effectiveness initially as I train them about not interrupting and respecting this time with the Lord.  Still wouldn’t it be awesome to transmit by example a thirst for the Word, the need for communion with the God of the universe?

What do you think?  Is it important that our kids actually SEE us studying the Word or do you think it is enough that we do it privately and they witness the fruit in our lives?


Julie said...

When Ruth Graham's children were asked to share treasured memories of her at her graveside, the thing that came first to their minds was that they always knew where she was in the morning, in her study with her Bible open. They would sneak in and find her praying or studying the Word of God. What a tremendous legacy!

Ellie said...

I wonder about that. I am a mom of four kids. I grew up in a house full of kids, too. I don't really remember my parents ever reading the Bible themselves for themselves. They read it at morning devotions and if they were going to do a sermon. But I never saw them reading or praying on their own.

Then one year, we had a single missionary live with us for awhile. I used to get up early for a part time job. He was up during that time, and I would eat my breakfast before the rest of the house was awake, and sit and watch him reading and praying in the living room. It had a deep impact on my life as I shamelessly watched him as he read and prayed.

Another time when we shared a house with another family, my room was in a location where I could hear the other dad in the house when he got up to read and pray. He would pray (I heard muffles) and play his guitar and sing. I loved waking up to the sound of him worshiping in the next room. Brought so much peace into my life.

Now I am a mom. It is great to get up and have peace for my time with God. I have to balance that with wanting my kids to see time with God alone as a normal thing. I've balanced that by being up and reading and praying when they are still waking. It gives me time alone, but they also see me reading when they first wake. They often come and lie down by the fire around me. They also would bring their picture Bibles when they were little and later their Bibles.

This morning, I slept in after a late night at work. I woke and came down to the sight of my two biggest boys curled up in chairs around the fire reading from their own Bibles. What an encouragement!

Ashley L said...

Great topic! I definitely think it matters that they see us. If we want our kids to see God as central to our life, how will they understand this if it is not a visible part of our life as well? I read my Bible while my kids nap, since I really do have a hard time focusing when they are awake, but I don't immediately finish up and put things away the moment they get out of bed. My daughter (oldest) gets up before my son, and since she is at the age when she still wants to be like mommmy, she likes to read her Bible and "write" in her journal just like me. It is a sweet time and a time of instruction. So, I guess I think both alone time as well as demonstrating to our kids is important.

Dayna (Spear) Guenther said...

I agree. I think it's important that they see it. I love the story of Susannah Wesley who had something like 19 children(?)... she trained them that when she was sitting in the kitchen with her apron over her head, she was praying, and they were not to interrupt her. I think even the discipline for the children in learning not to interrupt and to respect Mom's time with God is great for them.

Susie from Bienvenue said...

How neat that you posted this! I just started a Beth Moore study yesterday and Maddy came home and saw me reading the workbook along with the bible. She just smiled and said...doing your homework Momma? My heart grew two sizes. I think our kids need to see that we need Him and His word everyday. Thank you for your sweet comment too. I look forward to reading Beth's new book and sharing it with all of you~ ((hugs)) Susie

Becky Aguirre said...

I have always considered it to be "virtous" to get up early before everyone else to have my quiet time and then so be "prepared" for the day, but generally felt guilty because that's not how it goes down most days...besides, I've pretty much had to give up getting up early, just can't handle it! Which means that I plan for my quiet time for after the kids leave for school, not a bad time, considering.

While that means that most of the kids don't necessarily see me having the quiet time, they do see my QT 'stack' on the end table. :) Jkaile is here, though, and this morning wandered in while I was praying...he stood there for a minute watching, but then went back to his play when I told him I was praying. It is a challenge to train them, but it can be done. In fact, I half expected him to join me because he loves to "pray"! :)

Tim and Susan said...

I think it matters that they see us. I remember seeing my parents reading their Bible and even kneeling quietly at their bed in prayer.

Thanks for the challenge to get us early and have some quiet time with God though...ideally our kids would wake up to SEE us sitting quietly reading God's word!!

Unfortunately, I get so distracted in the morning and even if I get up early I am running around cleaning, making lunches, etc.

Lisa said...

I have been pondering this question myself. I also include church in my ponderings as it seems common now for children to be in class for the entire service, every service, perhaps to keep them from disrupting?

I believe that it is important for our children to observe and take part in prayer, study and worship time (whether at home or church). Even when they appear not to be paying attention, I believe it soaks into them. My dad used a verse the other day about this topic..."His word will not return void" describe his own childhood experience of church (where he didn't truly want to be, lol) and eventual salvation in his 30's.


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