There is so much in the Bible that I want my kids to understand that sometimes I just become overwhelmed at the thought of writing it all in their hearts. I wonder where to start. I wonder what to focus on. We have got the Old Testament stories down really well by now. My son has repeated back to me nearly the entire book of Genesis. I am so thankful that this foundation is laid.
I took a queue from Janice Beeghly, who seemed to answer the question of where to go next. She nearly commanded me to begin to whisper God’s truths into my children’s ears every night. So I have said nearly every night since, “Davis, did you know that ‘you are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which He has set aside for you to do’?” (Ephesians 2:10) He asked a couple of times why I kept on saying that. I told him that it was because it was true. Now I whisper in his ear, “Do you know what you are?” And he says, “God’s masterpiece.” And then he finishes the verse for me.
So I started wondering, what else does the Mighty God say that “you are.” Oh my lands, it is the most wonderful word study you will ever do. Just simply typing those two words in my favorite online concordance (crosswalk.com) yielded me dozens of “you are” statements that I can’t wait to write on the hearts my children. And as I read them I saw just how precious God the Father sees them. And me. I want these Truths written deeply in their hearts so that if ever they begin to err in their thinking about themselves (“Maybe I am worthless”) the truth that is in them will shout out “No!” and they can take such thoughts captive and replace them with the truth: You are holy and dearly loved! (Col 3:12)
Janice spoke in September of 2005 about praying scripture for our children. So I can take that same verse from Ephesians and say, “Thank you, Lord that Davis is your masterpiece….” But praying a scripture like Jeremiah 32:38-40, which says (and I am paraphrasing now) that God is going to make an everlasting covenant with my kids and that He will not turn from them and that He will put the fear of God in their hearts so that they will not turn from Him – now that is a harder scripture to pray. Why? Because my youngest has not yet accepted Christ, and my oldest may have accepted, but who is to say that he will not turn from God someday? What puffed up audacity I would have to have to pray such a thing! And besides, that was a verse about God’s chosen people, Israel, some 4,000 years ago. Not only did I really struggle praying it, I also struggled with saying to my sons such things that were not yet true.
Janice was quick to give an answer: consider the myriad of things you can pray and speak to your children. We know that the Bible is by definition the will of God and that whenever we pray using direct scripture, we are praying God’s will. So we can know for sure that it pleases God to claim these promises for our children and (here is the hard part) BELIEVE THEM TO BE TRUE. What we tell them about themselves they will see as truth.
So onward I go, writing on the tablet of their little hearts that:
“you are in the Father, and the Father is in you” (John 14:20).
“Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God.” (1 Cor 6:19)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph 2:8-9).
“For you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness” (1 Thess. 5:5)
“But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed” (1 Peter 3:14).
“You are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God” (Gal 4:7).
“You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
“You are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God's holy nation, His very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).