As a missionary family on deputation, we travel all over the states visiting churches. What a blessing it is to be able to see the states while meeting Christians all across the nation.
The travel can be fun but there’s certainly some tough aspects of it. Among others, we don’t have a home at the moment (and haven’t for a year and a half and counting), we don’t have any real routines anymore meaning we have to constantly be flexible and go with the flow in every aspect of our lives, and we have to sleep in lots of unfamiliar hotels and environments.
This last one is a struggle our boys have been dealing with a lot in particular recently.
Just a few weeks ago our family settled in at an AirBnB in OK. The place was a little home in a safe area but our 3 year old (Sawyer) and 5 year old (Grayson) were both really scared to be by themselves in the room they were sharing.
The first night we were there I sat with them in their room as I tried to get them settled down. They were near tears as I had them come close to me. I let them know that I wanted to read some Bible verses with them about how God is with them and they agreed to listen. Both boys gave me their full attention while I read Joshua 1:9 and some other verses.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
After reading them each a few times and having them repeat them back to me, I asked them if these verses helped them feel more comfortable. They both said yes, gave me big hugs, and fell asleep quickly after. For the next couple nights before bed I continued to read these verses to them. I wasn’t sure if they were grasping it but it seemed to help.
Later on that week I was cleaning and listening to them playing in the background. That peaceful playing turned into a slight argument. Grayson wanted Sawyer to go in the hallway to get a toy that had rolled away but he refused to go alone.
He shrieked “No way! That’s so scary over there alone! I’m not doing that!”
I almost stepped in but before I could, Grayson sighed, rolled his eyes, and said “Sawyer! Why are you even scared? Mommy told us that we shouldn’t fear. Remember the Bible verses? ‘Do not fear, God is with you wherever you go.’ See? Just go get the toy, God will be with you! Nothing to be scared about!”
Sawyer thought it over then said “Oh yeah! The Bible verse! You are right, God is with me. Ok!” Then he proceeded to run, grab his toy, then run back.
I remember standing there in awe of what I just witnessed. I saw my oldest encourage (although rather annoyed) his little brother to remember the Bible verse that we had been reading together. I saw my middle son contemplate if he was going to allow this fear to overtake him or if he was going to be brave and trust that God would be with him. I watched as he faced his fear and trusted God.
I watched as God allowed me to see firsthand that the verses we were reading together were making their way into my children’s hearts.
Mommas, parenting can be so hard. Oftentimes, we can wonder if what we are saying to our children is even reaching their hearts and minds. Sometimes we might think our efforts are in vain but they never are! When I’m feeling discouraged about this I try to read over Isaiah 55:10-11:
“As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
And do not return to it
Without watering the earth
And making it bud and flourish,
So that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
So is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
But will accomplish what I desire
And achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
These moments where we are reading the Bible, praying with, and showing our children how God desires us to live will not return void or empty! We are planting seeds of faith in our children that will grow over time. We must not get discouraged or give up.
So in every chance you get, pour the Word of God into your children:
- Find a verse to share with them in every situation.
- Pray words in the Bible back to God.
- Decorate your home in scripture.
- Memorize scripture together.
Your efforts aren’t in vain, and your children are watching and listening.
And whatever you do, don’t give up. God is with you too!
Tuck the Word of God into their hearts and minds and watch as God moves!!
Check out the other scriptures here:
Matthew 5:16-Teach Them to Be the Light
Matthew 11:28-Teach Them to Rest in Christ
Psalm 119:11-Teach Them to Treasure God’s Word
Isaiah 41:10-Teach Them to Rest not Fear
Guest Blogger Bio.
Tiffany is a wife and a mother to 3 boys. She and her husband surrendered to be missionaries to Scotland. She blogs about global missions from a mother’s perspective at http://www.mamafortheharvest.com.
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9 thoughts on “Joshua 1:9: Teach Them God is with Them”
“In every chance you get, pour the Word of God into your children.” Amen! Raising children for the glory of God is one of the greatest things we can do for God’s kingdom.
Yes! I fully agree. It’s such a huge task but such a blessing and an honor!
Isn’t that an incredible feeling?! When you have no idea of your kids are listening—-in fact you’re sure they aren’t.—and then you hear them repeating to each other the words you’ve worked so hard to teach them! 🙂 I often wonder if it excites God as much when He hears us encourage each other with the encouragement He’s given us. (Preferably without the eye rolling, of course 😉 )
It’s such an incredible feeling! Sometimes it can be so discouraging and it feels so easy to give up for a few days (which can easily turn into weeks or months) but we have to keep trudging along. They are picking up on things and paying attention even when we think they aren’t! But what a blessing when we get to catch moments like this where all our hard work is evident!
It’s so important for us Christians to teach our kids at home because they get the opposite kind of teaching at school.
I agree. It’s so tempting sometimes to try and pawn off the teachings to other individuals but it’s our responsibility first and foremost as parents to teach our children about God! If we rely on other people teaching our children, we can’t depend on their teaching to be biblical. I would much rather just teach them myself so when they are taught the wrong things outside of our family, they are strong enough in their faith that they have red flags going off immediately.
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