What is the biggest thing that has shocked you since becoming a mother?
Is it the exhaustion? The love you have for your little ones? How fast it goes? How much they eat? How much training they take?
While all of those can be quite a shock, the biggest thing that has shocked me as a mother is how much my children have influenced my faith.
It is amazing how the little children God gives us can change us, mold us and strengthen our own walk with the Lord. I’ve often said that God gave me my strong willed child to change me as I trained him. Isn’t that how God works? We see our sin, our bad habits in our children. We see how much we influence them and so we work on our own heart so that we may affect them in better ways.
How My Children Have Influenced My Faith
Having children has made me more bold in public with my faith. I never imagined or thought that this could have happened when I became a mother. You see, I tend to be a more quiet or reserved person in settings that have crowds. I’m not one to voice my opinion in front of a big group of people. Which is completely the opposite of how I am around my circle of friends. I wasn’t voted most talkative in my senior year for nothing!
I’ve learned that if I want my children to be bold about their faith then I need to model it for them.
I’ve also learned that if I am silent, they too will be silent.
I’ve been emboldened by their carefree way of talking about Jesus, the Bible, singing church songs while shopping. They don’t have a care in the world and they don’t care who’s watching or judging. They are innocent. Why then aren’t I?
I didn’t grow up in a Chrisitan home and was ridiculed many times as a teenager for my faith. This squashed any chances of me being bold about my faith out in the open. When my husband and I started dating, he wanted to do a Bible study over the phone once a week. I dreaded it. Absolutely dreaded it. Why? Because what if I’m wrong or say the wrong thing, what if what I think is silly, what if he ridicules me? The fear made me shut down. Talking about spiritual things with another person was too much to ask.
Then we got married and added to our family very quickly. And oh the surprises came pouring in!
Now it is quite common to be hearing any of us say in a normal volume, “praise the Lord!” while out shopping or at the doctor’s office. It has been a natural way of life.
Often times, when my children are confronted with evolution or displays that show that we evolved from monkeys we will have a Bible lesson right there as everyone walks by looking at us strangely. If I were to just say, “I’ll explain it at home.” then they will begin to think that this isn’t something we talk about outside of our home and that is not the kind of message I want to be teaching them. I want them to be bold at telling people, “hey, I did not come from a monkey, I was created in the image of the Almighty God!” and be proud to say it.
Without having children, I don’t think I would’ve gotten to this point. And I’m happy to say that my husband and I can now do a Bible study together without me hyperventilating.
As mothers, we pray fervently for our children to enter this world full term and healthy, we pray for their safety, their salvation, their own faith, their struggles, their schooling, their friends. I don’t know about you but my prayer life sure has been strengthened since having children.
There is always a vast number of things to pray for when you’re a mother. You pray for the strength, the wisdom and the patience to mother well. You take all of your concerns and battles to the Lord.
And you have the amazing chance to see how God works through those prayers, strengthening your faith. Having children is like having constant answers to prayer. A full term, healthy baby check? Graduating from the NICU if you have a preemie, check. Sanity during potty training, check.
When your little one wants to pray for something that’s special to them and you watch God answer their faith filled prayer, you have the chance to watch how their faith blossoms over time. It truly is amazing.
Yes, my own children have influenced my quiet time greatly. During those busy seasons of new babies every year, nursing every 2 hours and getting little sleep I depended on my phone app to read my Bible while nursing. This works for studying the Bible during those seasons. But then one day my 3 year says, “you never read your Bible like Daddy does”. “Uh, yes I do!” I said defensively. But how did he know he never SAW me.
Then it dawned on me how important it was for my children to see me in my Bible. To see the evidence that my Bible had been read that day.
This started me down the path of doing specific Bible studies and not just reading a chapter or book here and there. While I do like to do that sometimes, especially on weekends. I love the discipline that comes with doing a longer, structured Bible study.
This has grown my faith leaps and bounds and creates many Bible questions and discussions between my husband and I. Many times, my little ones will ask what I’m reading or studying and share in my giddiness over a new Bible study notebook or new study starting. I love being an example to them in this area. And it’s all thanks to their own influence on my faith.
Is the wonder of children amazing? They take everything in and savor it. Whatever they see they want to stay awhile and enjoy it. They take the time to notice God’s beautiful creation in ways that we adults have forgotten to notice int he busyness of life.
My children love to notice the different flowers, bugs, clouds and the sound of the wind. The want to wait awhile and observe the flowing creek before enjoying the park. Everything is amazing to them.
I have learned to slow down and savor life more since having little ones. I have one who just loves to stop and smell the roses. I am a type A person, with a long to do list in hand who’s always running late. For so long, I fought this about my children, and scolded and encouraged them to hurry along. Yes, it’s pretty and fascinating but surely another time would be better to examine it. But kids don’t think that way. Now is the perfect time. And when we take that time to just enjoy nature and God’s creation we begin to see the beauty all around us. And something about that makes me as happy as my children.
There are so many surprises that come with motherhood. Some that don’t surprise us nearly as much as others. It is amazing what we can learn from our children, isn’t it? Whether it’s being more bold in our faith, spending more time in prayer or Bible study or taking in God’s beautiful creation. If we let these little people in our lives influence us, God can mold us into who He wants us to be. Don’t be too prideful to learn from your little ones. God uses them to teach us just as He uses us to teach them.
Your turn! How have your children influenced your faith? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
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