Ask the Housewife :: Round Four

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A few weeks ago, I invited you to ask me anything. This week I’m answering all your burning questions. :-)

Sherri writes in:

I’d love to learn more about the ways you incorporate your faith into your daily routine and how you express that to your children.

This is one I really struggle with, truth be told. I have never been very consistent with a daily quiet time or anything like that. As many times as I’ve started to have regular devotions, I’ve just never managed to stick with it. I finally decided to let go of the guilt.

Instead, I talk to God throughout the day, like he’s a friend sitting next to me. I always have. I teach my kids that they can do that too. I want them to realize that Christianity is more than a belief system; it is a relationship that needs to be cultivated, and that they can talk to God at any time about anything that is on their minds.

My faith is an integral part of who I am and my general world view, so it should come through in my parenting and conversations with the kids in a natural way. They know what we believe and why. When they ask questions, we answer them openly. But I’d like to be more intentional in the way I express my faith to my kids; it’s something I’m working on.

I hope that we live out our faith in such a way that our children learn how to be a Christian by being a part of our family. For example, we are active in our local church, and my husband occasionally leads family devotions after dinner — nothing too structured, just some bible reading and a prayer. He also reviews the Shorter Catechism with them sometimes when we’re riding in the car. We want them to know what we believe and understand the basics of biblical Christianity. But I also hope that they learn by our attitudes about issues and people. I want to raise children who are loving and gracious, who give people the benefit of the doubt and are forgiving when they are wronged. We try to model this behavior and hope it catches on.

There is definitely room for improvement. But then again, that is the point, right? If I was perfect, I wouldn’t need Christ.

Feel free to check out all the posts in my Ask the Housewife series, and if you have questions you want to ask, you can add them to this post.

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Comments

  1. says

    I’ve lived exactly where you are, regarding the daily devotional thing. “I finally decided to let go of the guilt” describes my feelings exactly for many years, b/c I realized that Satan was getting a big kick out of my bashing myself over my failure. So I let myself off the hook. Besides, I didn’t want to be a legalist about it. Still don’t!!
    But then I went to a women’s retreat (that I really didn’t want to attend anyway). And the woman totally convinced me. I’m only saying this b/c it so much reminds me of your crusade about healthy food!! :) It really does. You do it b/c it’s really important to take care of yourself and your family. You’d be an idiot to have healthy food in your home, and neglect to eat it.
    As I sat there, I realized I was putting off doing something so necessary for my spiritual health. I was starving my poor soul every day, and then patting myself on the back for it. (I’m so NOT saying you’re doing this. I’m only describing myself at the time.) Anyway, for whatever reason, I did a 180 that weekend and never looked back. Somehow my attitude toward God’s word and my daily need for its nourishment changed, and it’s stayed that way. I think each person has to work it out for herself, honestly. But that’s my own story. Your very, very right about living out a testimony hour by hour, and that is so much harder, esp. with kids.

    • says

      I KNOW you are right. I think about that a lot. I make time to run. I make time to cook. I make time to do all sorts of things – how can I NOT make time for my Savior? It makes no sense, truly. But I also don’t want to beat myself up over it. So I don’t. Like food, like exercise, like everything else, I expect that the day will come when something clicks and I will make it work. Or perhaps I will start and stop until the day I die. LOL.

      • says

        You’re exactly, right. JL. Although I wish I had made my “change” years earlier, I would NOT have wanted to do it for the wrong reason, i.e., as a legalistic, guilty chore. I am not a morning person, and it’s hard for me to do much in the AM. I was mortified when I realized that I would never do a daily time with God if I didn’t have: the right chair, the right Bible, no children, perfect silence, a cup of tea, etc. But it’s true :( I think also, that women’s retreat happened when I was about 46. I looked at myself and realized that I was putting it off — until I was “older,” less busy, no kids in the house, a “mature” Christian woman. I don’t know what I was waiting for … the nursing home? Anyway (sorry to blab), you are right not to do it out of guilt. I try to visualize myself with a soul-wound that needs a daily salve put on it. It took a year before it felt normal to do. It took another year before I thoroughly enjoyed it. Hmm. Sounds rather like I would feel about your daily running – haha!!

  2. says

    I try not to beat myself up about the family devos even though I wish we had time for that, let alone family dinner! Yet we are always talking with the kids and answering their endless stream of questions. Having to answer their questions has probably been one of the best tests of my faith as a parent over the years…do I rely on my answers or God’s? I understand that I might get it wrong and it’s my job to point them to God’s word where they can find the truth. Takes a load off me having to have all the right answers, plus it builds my relationship with Christ as I might have to dig a little deeper in Scripture to answer the latest question of inquiring minds!

  3. Sheri O. says

    Hello Jo-Lynn,
    I seem to be in the same place that you are right now! I so completely loved what you said about “Christianity is more than a belief system; it is a relationship that needs to be cultivated”. The more attention I pay to having a one on one relationship and worry less about the legalistic “stuff” the easier, more satisfying it is & the closer I am to God! And the more I want to find out what he has in store for me!

    I think it’s great that you talk to God as if he were a friend sitting next to you. I love that! I also seem to find myself talking to God, often at odd times during the day, but I know I need to do a better job of teaching that to my children. I have to admit that I have used the car as a classroom about God – you can’t beat a captive audience, right? I had to Google the Shorter Catechism – interesting reading and good questions to spark conversations.

    I can only hope (& pray) that we are doing a good job of living the Christian values we want to model for our children. That’s what I want the most! I know that only time will reveal that for me. I can see that as moms we all strive to give our children what we feel is the best!

    Thanks for answering my question!
    Sheri O.

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