Alright, so I may be getting a little ahead of myself here, but because I am a mother, I can't help but worry about such things.
How do I, as someone entrusted with the care of God's child, foster a Godly environment for Georgia that will “train her in the way she should go”. How do I nurture and teach this heart to love the Lord? How do I equip her for His service? How do I shape her as arrow to be used for His purposes?
How do I begin to catechize my child?
I know what you're thinking. She's only one. I know, I know…
…But even still, I lay awake at night thinking of how I shall begin to teach her of her Heavenly Father. Of course, I cannot forget the work of the Holy Spirit in such situations and I am very thankful for divine intersession in her heart. My hope is to raise our little one in a loving home where the word of the Lord is alive and well!
Rooting Her In A Church
A huge part of this, I believe, is raising Georgia in a closely-knit church family. Not only as accountability for Stuart and I, but also for the exposure that she will receive in worshiping the Lord. We hold fast to a covenental view of theology and had Georgia baptized when she was just a wee-one. We took vows before the Lord, and our church family, that we would raise her in a Godly home where His word flourished; that we would expose her to His holy sacraments; and that we would commit to raising her as a Christian.
Now, if this were just up to Stuart and I, we would fail at this mission.
But that is the beauty of it – we aren't alone! God is at work in our marriage, in our Church family, in Georgia's heart, and in our home. And not only that, but He promises to aid and support us as we go about preparing her little soul for His work.
However. That doesn't mean we get to slack off either. We have our work cut out for us. There are so many things we are eager to teach her! Which leads me to my second tool for raising her:
His Holy Word and Supporting Literature
The Bible, obviously, will be one of our greatest resources in raising Georgia. Not only does it give specific instruction as to how we should raise her, but it also a source of infallible truth. Praying and teaching through the Bible with her will be an absolute necessity in her spiritual growth.
Another great resource that we have in our “tool-belt” is The Shorter Catechism with Scripture Proofs. It's just a little ‘ol thing…but it's chuck full of questions & answers.
Q1: What is the chief end of man? A: Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him for ever. 1 Cor 10: 31, Ps 73:25.
I love this format for little kids (and who am I kidding, for me too!). It goes through the Lord's Prayer and the 10 commandments, using scripture alone to support it's answers.
I'm a little spoiled in the fact that my dearest father-in-law is a P.C.A. Minister down in Georgia. He has provided us with incredible theological literature: from books on the church, to the authority of scripture, to baptism, to apologetics. If we have a question – he gives us literature on the answer. This has been such a blessing to us! Even though I'm still working on a big-fat one I started awhile ago on Old Testament interpretation …someday, I'll get through them all…
What a better way to teach our child how to have a relationship with the Lord than to have one myself! One of my favorite parts about our church is when our Pastor closes a prayer with “Amen”. Nano-seconds after he says that, you hear a resounding “Amen!” and “Amen!” coming from the little one's mouths. They have been taught by their parents how to pray – and they celebrate in getting to shout out that Amen! to their Heavenly Father! How wonderful!
Even though we already pray for G-baby each night when she goes to sleep, the prayer time we spend with her will no doubt increase as she grows in age. For now, we can barely get her to hold our hands as we say grace over dinner…but I have faith that soon enough, she will figure it out.
That being said, I think it's also important that Stuart and I, as her parents, maintain a constant and never-ceasing prayer life ourselves (both individually and together). We will continue to pray for things like a glorifying marriage; a deepening of our faith; continual wisdom for raising our child; and for truth to be ever-present in our home. And on that note…What better blessing can you give your child than loving your spouse. Not only does your marriage serve as an example of Christ's love for the church, but it will also shape your children's hearts into how their future spouse should be with them.
Love should be overflowing.
Forgiveness should be quick.
Fellowship should be constant.
And until Georgia is old enough to learn the bigger things, our marriage can be a *shining* example of love, faithfulness, grace, and forgiveness.