This school year brought a major change at our house – it is the first time in ten years there will be no little ones at my house each day. Jocelyn, now five years old, started kindergarten full time, all day, five days a week.
The house is quieter, much quieter these days. The routine is different, or perhaps it is that there is no routine, as I try to navigate this new season.
Yesterday I was to pick her up early, as she will go to speech twice a month. Arriving at the school, I backed my car up into the same spot as always to wait for her to exit the building, when I heard a voice calling to me, “Mimi! Mimi, over here!”
And there was Sophia, calling to me through the school yard fence. Walking over, we touched hands through the links. Then she wanted a kiss. We chatted about her day, both of us filling with emotion as she said, “I really miss coming to your house every day.”
Probably not as much as I miss her.
With the start of another school year, I am reminded of how quickly the years pass. May we use our influence as parents, and grandparents wisely. And Scripture tells us just how we are to do this:
“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” (Deuteronomy 6:7-9 NIV).
It is a four part process:
- It begins with us. His commands, and His Word, are to be upon our hearts first. God, His ways, and His instructions should be weaving in and out of our thoughts as we go through our day. All that we do and say and think is to be pleasing to Him.
- Impress them on your children. The image that is given to us is likened to taking a Sharpie and writing it on their minds. We are to impress their importance and meaning upon our children so that it is indelible, unable to be erased. May we share in such a way that God’s Word roots in their hearts and minds permanently.
- Talk about Him. Talk about Him when we are at home, when we are out and about, when we go to sleep, when we get up. The point? The only way we are going to make that indelible impression upon them is by repeating His principles over and over until His message is there to stay. Convey it in a way that is relevant and meaningful to the varied activities of the day.
- Visibility. The Israelites tied phylacteries (a small box) to their foreheads or arm. They visibly carried God’s commands with them all day long. Granted we no longer do that but we can let our children know that we read our Scriptures. We can read to them. They can learn from a young age that we ourselves treasure God’s Word.
With God’s help, we can become successful in our pursuit of parenting and influence.