I’ve recently been teaching Exodus and Leviticus to my high school girls at church. We’ve talked ad nauseum about the Israelites’ plight and how they continued to doubt God, turning away from His laws and provisions. We’ve discussed how ridiculous the people seemed – I mean, God’s actual presence was leading them day and night. They could see His literal presence with their very own eyes. We don’t have that luxury today, do we?
But what we do have is the Holy Spirit. I know, I know. It doesn’t feel the same. It can be difficult to differentiate between the Holy Spirit and our own yearnings and desires. But Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to us as a gift to lead and direct our lives.
As I studied and taught on the wanderings of the Israelites, I was hit afresh with the realization that, as a result of the Israelites’ disobedience and doubt, an entire generation of people missed out on the blessing of God.
An entire generation missed out on the Promised Land.
All because of their disobedience.
I was overcome with emotion as my heart broke for my own family. Will the next generation miss out on God’s blessings because of me? What about the generation after that?
I don’t want my sinful disobedience to cause my children and their children to miss out on the blessings of God.
I don’t want my frustrations and irritations, my impatience, my inconvenienced life to cause them to miss Jesus.
I love the New Living Translation of Exodus 20:6. ”But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.”
Wow. I want God’s lavish and unfailing love for my children and my children’s children. Don’t you?
But how can we demonstrate our love and obedience to God for our children?
Last week, our sweet Vivienne was feeling under the weather, running a pretty high temperature. She woke early one morning, 4:15 a.m. to be exact, calling my name. As I stumbled sleepily out of bed and up the stairs, I prayed that she would be able to rest easily. I gave her some medicine, pulled her into my lap and cuddled with her for a few minutes before attempting to tuck her back into the warmth of her bed. As I turned to leave her room, her little voice pierced my heart.
How could I say no? As much as I wanted to climb back into my bed for a few more minutes of much needed sleep, I chose to stay with her and read from God’s Word.
I’m not telling you this to show you what a great mom I am. Because I’m not. More often than I’d like to admit, I make wrong decisions or overreact to something my children do.
But every single day, we have choices. Seemingly little decisions, daily moments, that add up over the span of our children’s lives. I may not choose the right thing all the time, but I’m grateful that God gave me the wisdom to make the best decision that morning.
Next time you are wondering how to show God’s love to your children, ask for wisdom from the Holy Spirit.
Show grace and mercy to your disobedient children.
Take a moment to kneel in front of your son and look him in the eye as he tells you about something that happened during his day.
Let your daughter see you read God’s Word and talk with her about what you’re learning.
Faithfully following Jesus as you raise your children can be difficult. We will make mistakes, but when we do, we can get back up, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us.
And as we love and follow Him, He promises to lavish His love on our family for a thousand generations.
What more could we ask for our children?
How do you demonstrate God’s love to your family?