- One of my biggest challenges when our children were small was managing to have time to spend with the Lord without dozens of interruptions. During one of our planning weekends I mentioned this to my husband.
- We talked about Susanna Wesley and her habit of throwing her apron over her head so she could be “alone” to pray, but decided that with my distractibility that just wasn’t going to work well – at least not long-term.
- After much talking and praying we came up with the first step of our plan.
- Although we didn’t think it was ideal, we felt we were laying the groundwork for our goal – that each of our children would learn to spend time with the Lord first thing in the morning.
- It would also provide time for me to spend much-needed time in the Word.
- We had a series of Bible stories on video that ran about a half hour each.
- We explained the concept of “spending time with the Lord” to our children, who were all under 5, and told them they would quietly watch their video to learn about Jesus while Mommy read her Bible and prayed. This really worked well.
- I was amazed at how few times they interrupted me. It was a relief to have something in place so that I didn’t have to attempt to “beat the clock” by getting up and finished before anyone else got out of bed.
- After our oldest daughter learned how to read we purchased a “Beginner’s Bible”. It had big print and included the most common Bible stories. We had her read a story each morning before joining her younger siblings for the remainder of the video.
- By the time she had read through that version her younger sister was ready to begin and Emily graduated to a regular Bible. We continued to work with them in this way until each of them was able to have their own quiet time with the Lord.
Baby Steps Work
We’ve done different things over the years: assigned them a devotional to use for the year, used a different version, and read through the Bible, but each of them now has established a firm habit of having a personal quiet time each morning.
They’ve learned how to persevere even when the Lord seems silent and how to share those times the Lord seems to be speaking just to you.
One year our oldest choose to read Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine By: Wayne Grudem for her devotional material. It’s a huge book, but she divided by the days of the year and finished it. I haven’t even read that!
Baby steps – isn’t that what life is all about? I know this seems simplistic, but I’m reminded of the verse in Luke 16:10a
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much…”
I have learned this in many areas, but especially in parenting. As I strive to be “faithful in that which is least” the Lord will build on that small area of faithfulness and help me to accomplish bigger goals than I originally thought possible.
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© 2007 Phyllis Sather