Saturday, February 8, 2014

Biblical Foundations For Children

My mother-in-law's fourth post in a series discussing how her parents 
raised six children to walk in Truth ~

My parents taught us Biblical truths from the start, emphasizing that it was our choice to accept or reject Jesus as Savior and Lord.  We always attended a Gospel-preaching church wherever we lived, and we all made personal decisions to receive Jesus as children; my older sister was the youngest Christian of us all at age 3!!  

Daddy made sure we had Bible lessons to work on at home in addition to the teachings at church or school. We had weekly Bible verses to memorize in addition to those at church and at Christian school!  Of course we did get prizes for those extra verses.  I am ever so glad that he encouraged me to participate in Youth for Christ's Bible quizzing program.  I still, at age 65, can almost quote sections of the Bible due to the hours poured into this cause, which was primarily motivated by competition.  

If I wanted to go to summer camp, I had to memorize verses to get in free.  More of the Word into my head and heart!  Even though I may not have understood all that I memorized, it's there in my heart, and I sure understand it a whole lot more now!  {Hence I take issue with folks who say a child must understand what he/she memorizes;  if it's good stuff, they'll understand it later when they really need it, and it will stay in their heads forever!}

My dad made sure our home was filled with Christian music.  He joined a "record of the month" club back in the late 50's and 60's, and we all benefitted from listening to the constant flow into our home {and heads and hearts!} of God's truth through music.  Mom made it fun when, in one home which had an intercom, she'd wake us kids up Sunday mornings {to eat her yummy cinnamon rolls} by playing a rousing rendition of "Get Up Children" over the intercom!  To this day I thank God for this heritage in music, including the hymns.  When I have navigated extremely rough waters recently in my life, these songs ministered deeply to my soul and spirit and helped me through the trials.

On the negative side, my parents strictly limited the input of "trash" into our developing minds, i.e., no questionable radio, books, magazines, movies, TV shows etc.  I recall wanting to go to a movie with a friend, and my mom told me this story ~

     A mother was making salad for supper while her daughter was begging to go to a questionable movie with a friend.  The mother continued her chopping of vegetables, only she begin throwing the scraps into the salad bowl along with the things she'd cut for the salad. "Mother!" exclaimed the girl.  "You're putting GARBAGE in our salad!" "Well," answered her mother, "if you don't mind garbage in your mind, you won't mind it in your salad."

Thus I was encouraged to keep my mind clean and pure, and I never went to a movie until I was 30 years old!  {And even then it was seeking the mind of the Lord first. And hey, it was The Sound of Music - how bad is that??}

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12