I admit that I am probably overly lenient where my son is concerned. I try not to be, but I find myself wanting to give him everything he asks for, to protect him as a Momma bear does her cubs, to love on him every chance I get. I know that I need to be his Mom and not his friend and I do try. I really do. I believe that in many instances, I am successful. But I also find myself caving when I shouldn't. More than that, I always wonder if I am doing the right thing where he is concerned. I tend to question every command I give him and every demand I make of him. I question whether or not I am giving in to him too much or not enough.
My son is my life. He is EVERYTHING to me. He is my only living child out of four opportunities I have had to have children. I want to do this parenting thing right. More importantly, I want my son to grow up in the love and admonition of the Lord, knowing Christ not only because his parents are in the ministry, but also as a personal relationship with Christ for himself. Sadly, in spite of the fact that Samuel attends church with us and has been in Sunday School all his life as well as attended Vacation Bible School most of his summers, I feel that I am failing my son in this area.
We do not do devotions at home together as a family. I read my Bible every day. I have Bible studies I do on a consistent basis. My husband certainly studies his Bible, especially in sermon preparation. But we do not do anything as a family which means that Samuel is not doing a Bible study at all outside of what he gets at church. I have purchased several Bible studies specifically for Samuel at his age, but they continue to sit on the bookshelf where they were put after first bringing them home.
One of my very first memories growing up is of my mom having
Bible verses posted all over the house, especially in the kitchen. We were memorizing Bible verses before we ever learned to read. When Samuel was younger, we worked hard on learning all the books of the Bible. At one time, he could tell you all 66 books of the Bible. Now, sadly, because we haven't continuously reinforced that, he has difficulty knowing which book of the Bible is where and whether or not a book is even a book of the Bible.
And Bible verses memorized? He is sorely lacking in that area, I am thoroughly ashamed to say. When I was his age, I was part of the Bible Drill program in the Southern Baptist community. I loved it. Every year for about 4 or 5 years, Kevin Qualls, Brian Edwards, and I (there were others, but we were the only 3 who stuck it out every year) memorized Bible verses and went to competitions--and won at every level--church, district, and state. We even competed one Sunday against our Pastor as a demonstration, each us beating the pastor at every turn. I admit to some level of pride concerning my Bible knowledge while at the same time, feeling great humility that I have not passed on or shared that knowledge as I should have already with my son.
I accept the fact that in large part, my depression has gotten the better of me for too many years and that it has negatively affected the things, especially as far as Samuel's religious/Biblical education is concerned, I have wanted to do with Samuel. I was in so deep and it was not something I could just "get over" without help beyond the Word. (Yes, I am on medication--and it is helping. I am also seeing a Christian counselor and getting help for my medical issues which have not helped my depression.) I was not in a place within myself where I was able or even capable of looking after anyone's salvation, let alone my own, for years.
But now that I am coming out on the other side--now that I see the light, the opening to my tunnel and beginning to find my Joy in the Lord again, I find myself wanting more and more to find ways to teach my son about the Word so that he comes to love it as I do. I want him to be able to quote Bible verses. I want him to be able to say all the books of the Bible, in order--and to be able to spell them! (Yes, I can spell them all, too.) I want him to be able to pull out scriptures as he needs them when he is teased at school or when he has struggles of his own.
More than anything, I want him to be able to have such a wonderful relationship with the Lord for himself that when troubles and trials come his way throughout his life--as they inevitably will; they already have in his young life--that he will be able to stand firm in his faith and to count it all joy regardless of the struggles he goes through. I can't fight his battles for him, but I can teach him how to fight those battles--how to keep his armor on.
Will you help pray for me--and Samuel--as I begin this journey with Samuel? And for my husband as well? That we will begin, as a family, to seek the Lord earnestly and to teach Samuel to put on his own armor of God so that He may be able to stand???? Let me know if you will join me in prayer....I need all the encouragement and accountability I can get. In advance, thank you.