Teaching Kids Faithfulness
“You become what you behold.” -William Blake
Life is busy and chaotic. There never seems to be enough hours in the day. The readily available stream of information seems to fill up and speed up our days. When we evaluate our days, how are we spending our time? In what are we choosing to participate? Are we filling our days with worldly thoughts, desires, and occupations? Or are we feasting on the ways and will of the Lord? Are you beholding our Savior so that we may become more like Him?
When teaching my children about faithfulness, how do they see me spending my time? What am I allowing them to behold, which is shaping who they are becoming? Am I teaching and training them to turn their eyes upon Jesus? Do I encourage them to behold the Lord throughout the day? Do I behold the Lord in the everyday MOMents?
It is easy to allow the distractions of the world and the busywork of service to pull our attention and affection away from the Lord. We focus on what we are doing instead of whom we are serving. In Luke 10:39-40a, some friends of Jesus experienced this misplaced mindset: “And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving.” Martha is frustrated that her sister was not doing her share of the work, but Jesus gently reminded her that time spent with Him is the priority. If we want to become more like Jesus, then we must first behold who He is and enter into His presence. May I teach my children to be faithful to listen to Jesus and sit at His feet.
When teaching kids faithfulness, I hope they see me beholding the Word of God and storing it in my heart. I hope my children hear the words of the Lord coming from my mouth and evidence of the redemptive and restorative work of the Word in my life. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11, NIV). I hope to teach my children to read and memorize the Word. Not only is this an act of obedience to God, but it teaches us about who God is and who He created us to be. In this way, by faithfully beholding the Word of the Lord we become more like Him.
What we listen to matters. What we watch matters. Does the music I listen to and the media I watch honor the Lord? I aim to teach my children that the faithful life is not situational. The faithful life is marked by right decisions and right motives influenced by following in the footsteps of Jesus. In Matthew 6:21-22 Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” What am I allowing my eye to behold? Am I looking for fulfillment from the world or am I looking to Christ and His righteousness? As we teach our children right from wrong, godly influences versus ungodly examples, and whom and what is worth beholding; let us practice what we preach and store up our treasures in heaven without regard to worldly pursuits and status.
God’s timing never ceases to amaze me. Just proof of His faithfulness and another reminder to reflect this attribute. I have the great privilege of reading an advanced copy of “Beholding and Becoming” by Ruth Chou Simons. I had written down the topic of beholding and Becoming for “Teaching Kids Faithfulness” months ago and this book is set to release in just three weeks! The Lord has so richly used this book to build up my heart and tear down my pride as I seek to behold Him and to become more like Him.
As always, Ruth Chou Simons, artist and author behind GraceLaced, makes much of God while literally and figuratively painting a picture of our journey to becoming whom God made us to be. She partners beautiful artwork with refreshing words that are saturated with the truth of the gospel in the everyday.
“How we go about doing the next thing has everything to do with what we believe about what we’ve been given to do and who gives the next breath in which to do it.” Through the examples of everyday scenarios, we are reminded that no moment is too ordinary to be used by God. He has placed you where you are with what work He would have you to do so that you may bring Him glory. Beholding and Becoming is an encouragement towards growth, not berating or judgmental.
Each short chapter gives a new perspective on beholding or becoming more like Christ. These chapters are not redundant but explore Biblical truths for relying on Christ to transform your heart. The great surprise of beholding Christ is how you supernaturally begin to become more like Him. This is not in your own power or effort, but by the grace of God through the sacrifice of Jesus. We are called to daily walk with God and the practice of beholding is not natural, but requires commitment and determination.
Each chapter has themed artwork to complement the writings. While writing truth next to visually appealing images, Simons reminds readers that ultimately our focus needs to remain on Christ. Our purpose is to bring glory to God. Our aim is to follow Christ and His example. Our goal is to live life faithfully “Beholding and Becoming” like our Savior.
As we seek to teach kids to live a life of faithfulness, may we give them our example to follow while always directing their gaze back to Jesus. May we faithfully behold Christ every day and work to become more like Him in every MOMent. Bless the Lord, oh my soul.
*I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my personal review. All opinions are my own.