Building a Christian Legacy ~ Cindy Cain

Apr 21, 2014

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. ~Deut. 6:5-9 

With each of my children, there was a time as I held them in my arms as newborns that I realized that as badly as I wanted to, it was not humanly possible for me to always be there for them. For one thing, I could not see the future. I prayed that God would keep me here on earth to raise my children to adulthood, but at that time I did not know. My goal became to peel each of their tiny little hands in turn out of mine and firmly place their hands in God’s by the time they reached adulthood because I knew God would always be there for them.

The above verses became my mantra. Not only did I work at spending my own quiet time with God each day, but I looked for ways to instill God’s word and thoughts of him in my children’s hearts. As they were newborns and toddlers, I would sing Jesus songs to them, then with them. I taught them to pray, starting out very young with bedtime prayers and before meal prayers. We would also “read” Jesus books together.

When they were in elementary school, we would memorize scripture together, marking their accomplishments off on graphs or pie charts posted on the wall, with a prize at the end for a job well done. For gifts I would include things like pencils with Bible verses on them or one of the books, games, or toys found at Bible book stores. Nintendo was the big deal during those years, too, and I found Bible based games that they could play: Noah’s Ark, David, and The Fruit of the Spirit are three that I remember.

As teens I bought them (and me!) t-shirts with faith-based sayings on them. Youth rallies and mission trips with the church youth became important. I wanted my children’s friends to be from church. I know that teens can still find trouble when hanging out with church youth, but odds are the trouble will be limited and less deadly than that found in hanging out with friends in the world. When Tara and Amber were teens, we were at a small church with no organized youth group, but I had a seven-seat van, so I would load up as many teens as would fit and away we would go to youth events.

Through the years I would watch Christian parents send their precious children to State Universities, only to be heart-broken when said young person left the faith. I know that every Christian young person that goes to a State University does not leave Christ, but I watched this happen too many times for me to be willing to take a chance with my children’s souls. So I told the children that they could go to any University they wanted. However, if they went to a State University, they would pay for it. If they went to a Christian University, I would pay for it. Let me just say that I did not make this decision on the basis of finances, nor did I particularly care whether or not my children appreciated their education, but my goal was to give them every opportunity to stay close to Christ, and I am delighted with the results.

Through all of that time, Tara, Amber, and Trey grew up in an abusive environment. Even though their dad was a preacher, he was a rage-aholic. He preached one thing and lived another. With the chaos that my children experienced as they grew, I wanted them when they left home to be surrounded with professors who cared about them as persons and modeled Jesus to them, along with friends who would encourage them to live right and trust God.

You see, looking forward 18-25 years as I held my newborn in my arms, I wanted my child to not only stay faithful to Jesus, but to pass that faith on to their children, who would, in turn pass it on to their children. I wasn’t simply interested in raising children. I more had in mind building a legacy.

Let’s pray: Father, raising children is one of the most, if not the most challenging job on the planet. It brings us to the end of our selves so many times. Please help this generation of mamas to parent on purpose, to intentionally plant the knowledge and love of you in the hearts of their children. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Do you find it hard to study the Bible?

It doesn’t have to be.

Let me help you learn a technique for studying that makes it simple. Join me as we study one chapter each week and memorize two verses of scripture each month.

You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in your life.

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