Will they Believe? 

Passing Down a Lasting Faith to our Kids

Oh my, those poor, sweet firstborns of ours. They come into this world so brave, so pure, so ready; they have no idea what they’re getting themselves into. 

It’s no wonder, really. When you think about it, what our firstborn children represent to us is pretty staggering. 

 The first time we experience childbirth, hands down the most amazing feat a human body can achieve. The first time we become mothers, the greatest love we’ve ever felt. And our first attempt at this whole parenting thing, the hardest job on the planet. Quite a high bar is set for these little ones before they even take their first breath. Can’t help feeling little guilty.

Fortunately for them, we, as young new mothers, have a whole lot of courage and sheer determination on our side. So we do our very best to make it right. We don’t know what we’re doing, but we give it our all. We’re nervous, but we prevail. We make mistakes, but we try again. 

 We muddle through those first diaper changes… Which way is up? First baby baths… Too warm? Too cold?? First day of school… Mommy loves you. Mommy will be back. Mommy will stop crying eventually. First baseball game… How fun! I’m so happy we’re doing this! First strike-out… This is awful. Why are we doing this? First parent-teacher conference… You think my kid’s perfect, too, right? First high school dance, driver’s ed class, college applications. You get the picture. 

By the time our second, third, fourth child comes along, all of those scary endeavors somehow seem like no big deal. Been there, done that. After practicing each nerve-wracking circumstance with our firstborn kids, we’re suddenly old pros. And the rest of the brood surely benefits from our initial run-through. 

 There is one thing, though, I got right the first time. I knew right away, even as a first-time mama, of the thousands of things I wanted to share with my kids, there were certain things I longed to teach them for a lifetime. Things I desperately wanted them to carry into adulthood. Things like unconditional love, the importance of grace, and a solid faith in Christ.  

To that end, I looked for ways that would help me instill those lasting values. We have loved our kids unconditionally. We have given lots grace. We went to church and worshipped and prayed together. But would those things have a permanent impact? Would they endure? I often wonder as my kids become adults, I worry, I fret… did I do enough? 

When these stubborn thoughts refuse to fade, I have found a way to rest. A way for all of us to rest, really. From first-timers with newborns to moms of adult children having babies of their own, we can find peace in relying not what we have done, or failed to do, but in the power of God’s Word. The Word we read together. The Word we helped them memorize. The Word we sang in church. The Word that… will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11-12, ESV)

 If you’re looking for a simple way to share the truth with a child you love, check out the Sit for a Bit picture book series (Tyndale, 2016). Each title focuses on an essential, easy-to-understand Bible verse that helps little ones hide God’s word in their hearts for a lifetime. 

 You can find Kathryn on Facebook, on Instagram, or visit her website at http://www.kathobrien.com.

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