SUPER KIDS: should christian parents censor mainstream media?


For almost the last 3 weeks straight, my son has been wearing an aqua cot-sheet that I made into a superhero cape some years ago. It has gotten dirty and stretched at the seams from over-wear. He sleeps in it; he eats in it and confidently wearing it, he accompanies me shopping, on errands, riding his bike and playing outside.
He even answers when I call out to, ‘Batman’.
My sweet little 3 year old boy is leaping from our lounges and flying around our house.
He is watching cartoon batman episodes, he wanting to watch more and wanting to watch often.

As I see my little man fly around my lounge room in a cape, making his own super-flying sound effects and rescuing his toys from certain peril, I think,
little dude, you are awesome.”
Then as I see him watching enthralled in his hero Batman- when he is beating up some bad guy with fly-kicks and punches to the face, I think,
 “uh… ok this feels not so awesome.”

Is this appropriate for him to watch?
Should I shelter my children from any negative influence, especially at young ages?
Do I censor his interests? Do I stop him from playing the super hero? Can he still want to play superheroes without any outside-media-based-understanding of what they are?
Can I raise my kids without influences that I am uncomfortable with?
Am I right in being uncomfortable with this?

I find, in general, there is absolutely no safety in classification ratings.
There are few heroes (male or female) that come from mainstream-media to which I say, YES! That’s it! Here kids, this show reinforces our family’s bible-based values.
Just taking Disney heroes and heroines for example (as a widely understood media targeted at children and not for because they are particularly good/bad). Their main characters are a mix of defiant teenage mermaids, Lions preaching animism (tribal/earth religion), thieves who only steal ‘what they need’ and lie to gain affection and esteem, a little jungle boy who runs away. No matter the end result, these are the examples our children are absorbing.
The family movies aimed at ‘family’ viewing depict siblings who tease and belittle each other, speaking of each other with dislike, disobeying parents and calling each other names.

I am not asking, to where can we turn for positive influences on our children?
The answer to that is simple, turn to the Bible. Let our children dwell on Bible stories, pregnant with truth and the presence of God in each story. Here our heroes are flawed human as well, yes, but they are examples God has given us in His Word for a reason. They are deliberately part of His story of redemption and He is an ever present reality in their lives.
We can also turn to the many resources that are available to families for children entertainment, also great resources on inspiring missionaries, on the Church Fathers, on positive, believing role-models. We do in this time; have the ability to provide for our children alternative media for consumption.

My question is;
do I make a cleaning sweep of the majority of mainstream media and protect my children from its influence?
If not, what should I do with this uncomfortable feeling I have when my kids engage in worldly media?
What do I do with these worldly influences and
do I need to make a general rule about TV, Movies and Books?

There are three main ways of looking at the media which we invite into our homes.
 Is it only entertainment? What is the influence? What is being taught?

If we think that media is pure entertainment without any effect then we are choosing to be satisfied in the momentary gratification that TV/Movie watching can provide for the long-day of parenting. And it is satisfaction indeed – I am the first to put my hand up and say I cling with desperate appreciation to my kid’s TV hour each day.
It can be entertainment without understanding; I do understand that many aspects of TV entertainment go over the proverbial head of most children. That may 9 times out of 10 solve the momentary issue but does not change my aversion to seeing them soak it in.

TV as pure entertainment says that children are not going to turn to Witchcraft from watching/reading Harry Potter and they are not going to be morally bankrupt from watching the Barbie material. They will not grow to be violent from killing Zombies on the Wii nor by watching the Teenage Mutant Turtles. Their family values will not be corrupted from the example to given them by the Simpsons, nor will they think to place their value in outward adorning because they were influenced as such by the Bratz Fashion show and dolls.

I do not think that media is purely entertainment.

Any parent who has heard their Aussie kids playing out in the yard with a thick Californian accent or watched their parody of some recent Disney storyline will know that if it passes before a child’s eyes – it can have and probably has already had some impact – be it major or minor.
It is exactly because I think media is not purely entertainment (nor safe to watch regardless of content), that I censor which shows are appropriate for my children’s viewing. If I consider the impact of a show to be something I would not promote to my children, then there is no way I will condone it being promoted to my children via media.
I do not think that media is purely entertainment but neither do I think it is completely without value for my children’s enjoyment.

So what then?
If it is not purely entertainment and it isn’t pure evil either,
then how do we evaluate its influence on our children?

I was once encouraged to know, that I (along with my husband) am the leading expert on my children, and there is never cause to doubt it.
Such liberating encouragement.
So, that means that all the advice from other mothers, onlookers, psychologists and extended family can be used as a resource to better my parenting skills, but I do not ever need to (nor should I) release the responsibility of my motherhood to someone else just because their voice is louder or sounds more authoritative.
I will not try to tell you exactly which media to protect your children from. I know the shows that I have banned from my own children, the ones I’m iffy about, and the ones which I desperately hate (and kinda hope you do too).
But the only children whose eyes I will shield- are mine. For I know how they will be influenced and how best to shield them.
Just as you do with your children.

Here is an example from two daughters,
My eldest daughter is easily snared by beauty and the trappings of instant flattery. From her heart I will shield from her the things which will teach her that she should indeed find her value in outward appearance. I will steer her from media where the heroine uses her beauty as a weapon, or shows which depicts those less ‘pretty’ in negative light. I need to guide her from a path which judges her beauty and gives her cause to value others on the same merits.
I need to do this because the world will teach her a different concept.
But the Bible teaches truth.
My youngest daughter needs to be protected from hurtful words of disrespect. From her eyes which laugh so readily, I do not want to teach her that the world says laughter can readily come at the cost of others. I will shield her from the temptation of easily quoted words used to belittle others for self-gratification.
I need to teach her this because the world will not teach her this truth. The bible does.

Influence is also affected by saturation.
Firstly, obviously if your child is obsessively, daily, continuously watching shows that are promoting alternate religions, a world without God or a worldly doctrine of self without ever coming up for air then… Yes. The influence and impact of these shows will be great. Duh.

But your children have a mother who is herself walking in the light. A mother who loves the Word of the Lord and impresses it upon her children. A mother who covers her children in prayer and guides them to cover others too. A mother who ministers to her family by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in her, pour out from her and drench her home in Gospel truth. A mother who models humility, fragility and an honest human dependence on God.
Let your children be saturated in this.
Into this culture, allow the media of the world to provide entertainment.
Into this family, bring things that are questionable…
…. then use the opportunity to give an answer.

To my son, I asked why he loves Batman so much.
I asked him what makes Batman a hero.
I asked him about his perception of Batman, was he good? Was he justified in his actions?
What about the ‘bad guy’? Was the bad guy always bad? Is there nothing good about him? What makes him bad? Is Batman ever bad?
To my three year old son, I was able to have an age-limited but very valuable discussion on many topics. On sin, on bad guys always being bad guys… and whether God sees us this way.
I talked about good and evil.
I talked about standing up for what is right.
I told him (well… I preached… a little) that Jesus is the ultimate definition of a hero who provided the ultimate salvation. I talked about all the differences between Batman and Jesus.
I told him that I loved how he dressed up as Batman and wants to save people, I told him that God wants us to have hearts which care for others above ourselves.
I told him he is never allowed to fly-kick anyone.
And then with good conscience, I let him watch his Batman show on TV.
I do so ready to have the same conversation again and again and again.
In detail and episode-specific.
I do so ready to change my mind if I later I feel I’ve misjudged.

My belief is that media is not purely entertainment without impact.
 I do think there are shows which are dangerous for our children to consume and should not be allowed into our homes.
I think that the influence of the world will always be pressing in on our children, threatening to be a louder voice in the ears of our children. I do not think we should ever let it be this, (while they are under our authority). I think that a passion for godly example and a readiness to witness will trump legalism and rules most every time.
I think that the influence of media can be measured and curved by the diligence of our parenting.
I think that we can redeem entertainment to have good conversations with our kids and that we can teach them to be discerning consumers.

I think that you are their mum,
and with the help of the One who in His wisdom ordained your children to your care–
you will make good choices
and you will be given the chance to redeem your regretful ones.

I think you should extend that same grace to the mums you know.

Advertisements

to sit or to stand?


To sit or to stand… No really…. that is a genuine question.

Me? I am shrugging my shoulders.

Like literally, I am shrugging my shoulders and mumbling ‘mmm’i-dunno” in a flashback to the communication of my teens.
Because I don’t know what to do or think.

My (nearly) 5year old, Evie came home from her kindergarten class, and exclaimed “oh my God” at the traffic on the road. I did not crash the car.. but breathed in & asked her who taught her this phrase. She told me that ALL the kids say it at Kinder. And it’s not naughty, cos so do the teachers.

Initially, we dealt with it by a simple conversation about how not-to disrespect the creator of the universe and left it be. To keep an eye on.

But then hubby and I were talking about how she is still going to be desensitized to these sayings. How she is not offended and is learning in our society, not to be. She is in danger of taking – the taking of the LORD’s name – lightly.
But what should we do?

I’ve spoken to her teachers, and asked if they could be mindful of teaching her about things like ‘good luck’, ‘bad luck’ and ‘karma’. Things that have been adopted as normal by our Godless society.
How far do I take it?

I drafted a letter, using the situation of Evie’s new phrase, to tell the parents of her class – that we are bible-believing christians. That these phrases are serious and offensive to our faith and the world’s God, and I asked them sympathise and have a conversation with their kids encouraging them to refrain from offensive terms.
Hubby looked over it and said he thought it was a good letter – well written (why… shucks.. thanks) but he had some genuine questions. I list them in his words as best I can; 

Is this something we should make a deal out of?
Should we take the stand – that perhaps causes offense to some parents? 
Should we be making this issue not a behaviour issue – but a faith issue?
Are WE coming across as religious fruitcakes – rather than letting it be the gospel which is confronting?
And if we are willing to say yes to the above questions.. is this the hill we want to die on? (I had never personally heard this phrase and got sidetracked over it for a minute or two) It means, is this even the issue worth making it all this fuss over?

This is my hubby. He is wise and smart and biblical & he is questioning me.
So now I don’t know….

Am I that fruitcake mum? Who HAS to have a conversation about Jesus with her daughter whenever she is exposed to a different worldview? I have been teased for being so in the past.
I see every conversation as a chance to get theological… am I going into overkill? Is there overkill?
I started this thought process, thinking that I do not want my children to see these phrases as ‘lesser’ swear words. I don’t want them so influenced by society that the name of the God does not register when taken in vain.
I was thinking that this is the name of my God that is taken so lightly.
That this is something I could do, to say to the parents of Evie’s kinder…
“here is a family that follows Jesus”
“We are salt and light  – to flavour you and shine on you – not the other way round.”

I wanted to make a stand, for all the times I never make a sound…

And the name of the Lord God seemed a really good place to stand on?

Now I don’t know.
Do you?

No really, I’m asking.

Spiderman Undies & the Wrath of God


I live in very close proximity to my neighbours.
Like close… we share a backyard and if one of my kids opens the bathroom door while i am on the toilet. I can see right through their laundry window and into their lounge room.
Good morning Neighbourino’s.
I need to drink more water.

My neighbours have children the same age as mine. They play outside often. Often the girls congregate at my steps to play, chat and generally make their presence known. I pick up snippets of conversation as I carry on about my day. (not sitting on the lounge eating ice cream and watching oprah…whaat?)
You know, I bustle about with my general cleaning, mopping, ironing, baking and other domestic bliss things.

Once i heard them talking and my 4yr old pips up and says excitedly,
My dad LOVES spiderman! he has spiderman knickers Mumma got him!
Too much info, I make a mental note to laugh later at the mention of my hub wearing ‘knickers’. I am about to go have a word with them about appropriate conversation topics when I am cut short by Tash, our neighbour’s daughter,
MY DAD likes to tuck his shirt into his knickers.

Meh. Now we are even.

There was a time though, when the conversations between our daughters is tougher to deal with.
My child sent her friend home in tears once, having told her that her behaviour would make God angry. My neighbour comforts her daughter. She ensured her that God never gets angry. He never gets sad and we do not ever need to be scared of displeasing Him.

Something in my guts drop.
I disagree.

Every hour the girls spend together is locked in a battle.
My mum says God does get angry…
… my mum said He doesn’t
…yes He does!
No He doesn’t!…

I bring my debater inside, hoping the theological debates will fade into forgotten so they can play together again soon. Without battle.
I told her that she should not have told her friend that she was making God mad – rather encouraged her to do what was right. We talked about the importance and potency of our words.
It was a great chat – but she couldn’t let me go without wanting it in black and white.
does God get angry?
So I tell her that yes, our actions grieve our Great and Merciful God greatly. That his wrath is justified and that is the point of Grace.
I tell her that fearing God isn’t about being scared – but knowing that it is holiness and perfection that we are faced with. And knowing that that is a big deal.
so…. we are right and they are wrong?

that is what it is boiling down to?
What do I say to that?
My hub comes home to this mess that is tolerance, community living, unity in the body of christ… and the doctrine of grace explained to a 4yr old.
I heap my failing mess at his feet, o wise husband. Make everything ok. Glorify God our Father with what we teach our children… but don’t make the neighbours hate me!
What?! what do we tell her?
My Hub’s answer was profound and true.

“what does the Bible say?
If it is true and Biblical… we teach it to our children.
We impress it upon them
and live it by example.”

Oh.
That seems obvious enough. So why in the midst of it all… was I creating theology based in my life experience? Based on fitting in with my neighbours? Based on ‘what feels right’, ‘sounds right’ or ‘fits right’. Why was I explaining away the wrath of God, so I didn’t upset the neighbours. So we could let everyone win.

Why did I fling myself at the mercy of my husband’s human guidance, in total desperation and anxiety… when there was a shelf of the living, breathing… Word Of God… sitting there all the time?

the model parent


I am a list-maker.
I love a good list.
I even write things on the list that I have already done that day…just so as I can cross them off my list. I sit on my bed after my shower and gaze into my wardrobe. I’m thinking about what i will wear and in what order I will get dressed. I am all about having an action plan.. and theme music.

When you have a plan (and Eye of the Tiger playing in the background) then you OWN doing the dishes, you attack the pile of clothes and you are a force that all dust and dirt must be reckoned with.
I think maybe there should be more purpose in parenting.
A little bit more offense than defense.
A little bit more training and modelling than discipline and damage control.

What if you had goals for your children? Like, not just the general goals of, “you know, happy and healthy and stuff.” Not just thinking, well obviously I want them to be good kids. But what if you sat down and said….
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control.
What if, you assessed these fruits of the spirit in your own life – looked at how you model gentleness and self-control. What if there was purposeful training of your children in these things.
Wouldn’t that flow onto and into their behaviour?
Do I want my kids to not bully the kids next door, because they are not allowed to… or do I want them to have learned and seen kindness displayed in our family and our relationships?
Do I want them to not steal from the jar of marshmallows (It’s a pretty big jar…and i like the pink ones) because they are scared of getting caught? – or because they have self-control and goodness?

I definitely have rules and boundaries in my home for my children and there are consequences if they are broken. But more than well-behaved, I want my children rooted and sustained by scripture. There is purpose to my parenting that goes beyond surviving each day… especially those days.
There has to be graciousness in my parenting – which is hardest to do when it is most needed. There needs to be purpose.
I look at my 2yr old and see a need for kindness in her. So I pray for kindness in my own life, in my own day, that I can model and show it to her. I seek ways to encourage and train her in kindness.
I think that is the key to her being the kind of 2yr old that doesnt bully her neighbour anymore.
What goals do you want for your kids? What can you train them in this week?
Can you go a week without raising your voice in anger?
Do you model prayer and scripture to your children?
Can you show them appreciation and gratitude for all that they accomplish?
Do you show self-control over your temptations and cravings?

Are the prayers for your children  – visible in the life you are modelling for them?
I know that whenever I look at my children and think about their ‘training’ – I am always convicted of my ‘modelling’.

please explain


the scene opens with the family sitting in the lounge room. waiting for the return of the hunter/gatherer (who had hunted for his car keys and was now gathering Red Rooster)
Out of lazy desperation, I switch the TV on to entertain the hungry brood in these long minutes.
Welcome into my home easy distraction. I love you.

On the TV this night was Meerkat Manor – you know the show that follows all the Meerkats and gives them names like Flower, Romeo and… I cant think of any more…
Anyway, they have names.
Its like Animal Planet meets Bold and the Beautiful.
And my daughter is enthralled by it. She is getting excited and wanting to know what these creatures are, where they live and can we get one. She then asks for an explanation, and I respond;

No honey, they are not all boys… those are their tails.
why are their tails standing up like that?
that’s just how they run…. with them sticking up like that
why don’t people have tails?
God didn’t make people with tails, so we mustn’t need one
why do meerkats need their tails?
i don’t know – maybe balance
why don’t you know?

The dialogue goes on. Most of it is Evie asking why and me, well, not really knowing why.
It is amazing how interesting the world is, and how we get to explain it to our kids.
There are a lot of questions they don’t ask though
Things they just accept because they don’t know any different.

My family, my beautiful children are going to have a difficult life in some ways. A lot of unknown things will rise before us, unsettled periods, 6months in Australia, 3years in mission… It might be a shock and a witness to my friends that we will pick up and move overseas to serve God.
It might be a witness to my neighbours that we do not value possessions, that we worship God and go to church.
But to my children, it will be all that they have ever known.
So… what I am saying… is that I need to take time to explain to my children.
I need to ground them in the truth of the bible – that they will rely on that throughout the turmoil of the mission lifestyle, I need to explain to them why it is important for us to go to church and why we do it.
I need to explain and remind my children that though they know no different – we are different.

I hope to always have dialogue with my children about our life.
About the decisions we as parents are making for them.
I pray that they understand and find joy in our sacrifices and blessings.
So that our faithfulness as parents will be transparent,
and effective in strengthening theirs.

Revolving


My children gave me a revelation.

Becoming a parent is an amazing thing, it gives you great insight into the ‘father’ love of God. It gives you great insight into unconditional love.
But my children gave me an insight into the art of being a follower.

One afternoon, my daughter is begging me for attention.
mum
I’m at my computer, busy with something or other.
muuuuumma

They just wanted my attention. They had done something I had asked and wanted my affection and approval. Some times I cast them aside with a distracted, o wow hunni, or a glance and unenthusiastic yeah.
My girls just want to please me, their world revolves around me.
They imitate me
I see their cute wiggle as they dance awkward and gangly – just like their mumma
I see them licking the last little bits of ice cream from the bowl – just like their mumma
I see giggles, impatience, expressions, mannerisms and flaws – just like their mumma
Because I am their whole world.
I am all they know at the moment and all they want to be.

Maybe that is what the bible means when it says the kingdom belongs to them.
If God was my whole world,
Then I would wake and sleep revolving around Him.
I would do all I could do to please Him.
I would follow and imitate.

God is my Father – and we spend a lot of time thinking about what that means for Him.
I am his child – and that means something for me.

1question, 2answers, 4bowls of ice cream


There are 2 couples who love the Lord dearly.
They drop a couple of kids into the mix and an interest in the mission field.
Then a question is raised one evening, over ice cream.
Though we all finish our ice cream… the question is unanswered.
To the blog, I say, all hail the blog.

So – both parents agree totally that children are a gift from God.  We agree that they belong to God and that we as parents as just guardians over them, entrusting to raise them in Christ and to the glory of God.
No arguments there.
But what is responsible stewardship?
This question divided opinion & caused a night-long debate involving many bowls of ice cream, hot chocolate and the agreement to disagree.
The question was placed in this context –
Is it responsibility to move to an area or country that is considered persecuted or dangerous – deliberately at the risk of your children -to witness for Christ?

One answer was no.
It is not responsible Christian parenting.
God has entrusted us, as parents, to keep our children as healthy and safe as is in our power. We are to commit to raising them in truth and right Christian living, to witness to the world around us. But our responsibility as parents cannot allow us to endanger our children.
Why would God bless us with children if he planned a life of danger and persecution for us? If that was God’s intention for our lives – then we would (as the Apostle Paul did) remain single. To be free from the responsibilities of parenthood – to take the gospel to these places.
Yes – it would be wrong and disobedient to NOT go somewhere God commands you – but God would not command a parent to physically endanger their child. He would not give a gift of responsibility such as children – to then demand its misuse.
God would not command, or approve of parents who take their children to war zones, closed countries, tribal situations or any other physically precarious countries and situations – not even in attempt of His service.
That answer was a ‘no’

The other answer to that question is (obviously) yes.
God would command – and does command parents to follow Him, even into certain danger & persecution. In the bible, in the book of Matthew – Jesus says that if we love our families or our children more than him, then we are not worthy. If the welfare of our children is more important to us as parents, than the Glory of God and the proclamation of the gospel – then we are not worthy.
The bible says that it is God who gives, and God who takes away. It is God who knows every hair on our head and the number of days appointed to us – and to our kids. It is God who is sovereign over the countries of the West, of tribal countries, militant nations, impoverished nations and closed Islamic countries.
It is in God that we should put our hope and align our path. It is His commands that we should follow… and He commanded us to take the gospel to every tribe, to every tounge. He didn’t give free pass to Christians who are scared, to Christians who are married, to Christians who are reluctant or to parents who want to shield their children. He said that we should take up our cross… and follow.

Now, I know which side of this debate I was on.
I love, love LOVE my children and I want with all of my heart from them to be safe, for them to be happy and to grow in age, maturity and faith until they are old ladies and men. But more than I desire their happiness, I must obey my God. More than I desire their protection, I must proclaim Jesus Christ. More than I want them to grow old, I want them to grow in faith.
My beautiful children do not belong to me – they are Gods. He would have them live in persecution and danger for the sake of His name. I cannot deny God what does not belong to me.
I cannot – though I am so, so tempted.

Now, I am not saying that the only faithful parents are those living in ‘dangerous’ places. And I am not saying that we should all let our kids play out the front of our homes on the road – I am saying that I, as a mum, believe that God is king over my family. I believe that he has the lives of my precious ones in His hand and were they to be safe or were they to be killed – it is all in His control.
I believe ‘responsible parenting’ is to walk with my children & my God – though a minefield rather than to endeavour to keep them safe by my attempts – here in Australia.
All the eletrical plug protectors, seatbelts, helmet, rules and supervision in the world is no match for the sovereign providence of God in the midst of gunfire.

That is why I answer yes.

the Brady Bunch


Ok, here is a one to think about.

I was watching a movie a while ago with my Evie – it was Disney’s Hercules – and I suddenly thought to myself… Wow. this is an alternate religion being depicted here. I wonder if i should be shielding my daughter from this?
Then i looked thoughtfully at her collection of movies in general.
There are ‘kids’ movies that depict religious ideas (Hercules, Mulan) and movies that promote childish disobedience and defiance (Little Mermaid, Jungle Book) and that isnt even touching on the movies that include ideas of vanity, superficiality, materialism and a premature introduction to romance.

I asked myself, should I be shielding my 2year old, my 4year old, my children… from these movies?

Now – on one side of the coin, there are those who vote for no. They are works of fiction, for entertainment and not really a big deal. Do we shield our kids from everything of the world? home-school them, only associate them with christian families and live in a christian bubble?
There is truth in this.It begs the question – How could my family shine as lights in the world (Matt 5:16) without ever actually associating with the world? Do we make our children into the freaky ‘christian-cult-kids’ who dont watch tv or play normal games.
(im thinking a non-yellow version of Rod & Tod Flanders!)

But I got to thinking about what my children’s movie collection says about my family in general. What it says to others about what my family believe in. I question myself;

But where is the line drawn in the sand? – when do we stop living in the world and become a family that looks like everyone else, talks like everyone else, fills our minds with the same things as everyone else. Generally – how do we stop our children from being of the world?
It seems like a big deal to me of course, I mean, I want my kids to be liked and popular and not persecuted by the western culture for their faith. But is that justification? Is that biblical?

Just because something is funny, entertaining or normal….does that make it appropriate?
Just because something is funny, entertaining or normal…does that mean it is unacceptable to have to sacrifice it?
Is it a big deal?
What am I teaching my kids? Do I use my leisure hours to show them (& the world) that God is more important to me than movies, music or my entertainment in general.

I know I could intervene in their viewing – explain the concepts that are being portrayed in these films and explain what God thinks of them – but that isnt really the point. The point it, What am I filling my kids minds with? 2hours of a movies about greek mythology to counteract a 10min bible story before bed?

Can i hack being called the ‘christian Brady bunch’, the ‘weirdos’ or ‘freaks’ for the sake of my faith?

Is God going to be ok with how I answer this question?

Input & Output


 

I think one of the greatest difficulties in being a Christian mum, is that I feel a huge disparity between the amount of spiritual ‘input’ i have and the responsibility of my ‘output’.

I mean, every parent across the globe feels the weight of being the model and example to their kids whether they are christian or not.  Being the ‘whole world’ to somebody is a massive deal.  But for the believing mum, every moment from when I wake, every moment of short-temper and every situation that arises – is a moment where I should be teaching Christ to my kids.

Well, that is just it isn’t it – they are my kids… but only in the sense that they are actually God’s kids and I am blessed to be steward of them. They actually completely belong to Him & I will be accountable one day for how I spent my moments of motherhood. Which, when I remember a lot of the moments I have lived so far, is a daunting thing.

This huge weight of responsibility on a mother’s shoulders is made all the heavier when I sit back and wonder where my days have gone. Did I spend time with God in those days that i seem to have skipped? (Cos I swear I have only just finished the last of the Christmas dishes and it is August today) When was the last sunday I got to stay in the entire Church service, or listen to the teaching undistracted?

How do I stand before my children as a Godly mother, an example of Godly living – if I am not immersing myself in God’s Word, and in time with God? Without God I am just another stressed out lady with way-too little sleep, body image problems and 3kids to get dressed in the morning. (that is if they have any clean clothes in their drawers!)

So here is the truth -I don’t really know what I am doing, I have tried downloading sermons to listen to. But I realise I am in danger of knowing full-well what John Piper says the bible says…but not actually what the bible says. I have tried involving my kids in my quiet time… but that is difficult still. (peanut butter & a 2yr old means a sticky end to Isaiah)
I have passages of Bible stuck up on the wall above the sink, I pray when I am in the shower & can’t hear the kids, or when I have a moment alone on the toilet
(which i always wonder at the appropriateness of this? Imean, it’s poo…is this sufficiently reverent? )
Still I feel un-saturated in God.
So, what is the answer? What do mothers do to spend time with God? How do I grow in Christ? Cos I don’t know what I am doing and what I do, do…I don’t do well.

What I do, do…
now i wake every day and (after coffee) pray this prayer. That God will draw me closer to Him. That He will be the driving force behind my faith today – that He will ignite in me a passion and need for His Word today that it supersedes exhaustion, apathy and vacuuming. That He will take my ‘mustard seed’ and just run with it.

I don’t know the theological ins and outs of this – but that is my prayer. Because far out, I love my kids and I can’t raise them without Jesus, and Jesus can’t use me without prayer….

…and caffiene….but mainly prayer. 🙂