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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Step Ahead of the Game

Recently I spent one evening fighting a horrid headache. 

My husband got the kids bathed and in their PJs, but unusually, we were a bit ahead of schedule and they had some extra time.  They eagerly disappeared into their rooms and were quiet for a bit.  That usually spells trouble, right?  I was aware of this but figured we'd cross that bridge when we came to it.  My head was really hurting.

Soon they came bounding back out, chattering excitedly about their new Bible study.  They told us that they were studying together.  They shared all about how they'd read a Bible story out of their Spark Story Bible, then looked it up in their 'real' Spark Bible and read that version.

I learned yesterday that they're reading a daily devotional, too.

We read scripture every morning at breakfast.  Since we're studying ancient Egypt right now, we're slowly working our way through the stories of Joseph and Moses, learning about how God provided for the Israelites.

My Big Helper has been reading her Bible on her own for just under a year.  She has a notebook and stickers and she occasionally brings up in conversation what she has learned that morning.

But this is the first time that they've shown collective interest in studying the Bible.  In doing more than just reading Bible stories or looking up what the Bible has to say about a certain issue.

Now they want their own ongoing study of God's word.  They're leading themselves, seeking out a relationship with Him, and taking steps to make it happen.  I haven't asked them to start a Bible study, or encouraged them to read devotionals on their own, or anything like that.

But they are.  And they're 6 and 8.

Don't get me wrong - I'm happy that I have creative, earnest kids.  I love that God has built those traits into them.

But He's keeping me on my toes, too.  As parents we must be diligent to pray, to ask for wisdom, to know how to guide and direct our children.  I think of Deuteronomy 6 often and try to keep that in front of me.

But I think there's more to it than that.  My Big Helper wants to know what the Ark of the Covenant looked like and what the Bible prophecies are that speak about Jesus' return.  Those aren't things that can be answered casually.  Those things take research and study and preparation.  She's 8 years old and she's asking - and I want to be prepared to help her find the answers she's looking for.

So I need to stay a step ahead.  I need to be diligent in my own study time and quiet time, to deepen my own relationship with God - both to know how to parent such deep-thinking short people and to become the woman that He wants me to be.

Or maybe this is where I don't stay a step ahead.  Maybe we're already at the place where, while continuing to guide and direct them, I teach them how to do these things on their own. Maybe this is where we begin to step to our own pace.  Maybe this is where we talk, over time and as they're ready, about ways to study the Bible, about safe places to do research, about how to recognize them when they see them.

I didn't think we'd really hit this place until they were much older.  I thought that we'd continue to read through the Bible together, talking about what it means, and they love that - but they seem to want more.

So while I'm happily surprised, I'm digging in, too - because this Mommy needs to keep on steppin'.

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