My mother and grandmother were most influential in directing my relationship with God. As a child, I really did not have the option in my home to go to church as most homes are this way. When the doors opened and closed to the church, I was there. Now don’t get the wrong, that was not a bad thing, I think that because my family was so firm in attending church and our love of God, I strayed away from attending services as frequently as I should. Personally, I feel that you can praise God wherever you are, but I also think that it is important to fellowship with like-minded people in order to strengthen and maintain your faith in God. That being said, I admit that I have fallen by the wayside and there are a number of excuses that I could present to plead my case, but none are justifiable in my opinion.
We (my daughter and me) acknowledge God in our prayers as brief as they are at night, but I feel that somewhere I am lacking with regard to how I share my love of God with my daughter. Of course, I do not want to overwhelm her with the word, especially when she is so young, but it is important to me that she understands that God exists. In Deuteronomy 4, Moses is talking to the children of Israel about the importance of keeping God’s commandments. And then he speaks directly to parents and grandparents: “Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren” (Deuteronomy 4:9). And while that passage reads clear, it is still not clear to me how to teach your child at such a young and tender age to love and acknowledge God’s presence.
Understandably, there are no directional pamphlets for raising children, but there are so many resources out there with advice for rearing a child as others see fit. That being shared, how do you know what is the best way for you? So far, I feel that I have done a good job as a single mother raising my child, but as she grows older, it is important to me that she understands and has a relationship with God. Perhaps I am underestimating the abilities of a 2 ½ year old. Maybe she will understand when I sit her down and share God’s words in the Bible. Or maybe she will not understand!?!
As a Christian parent, I think that we face just as many obstacles if not more as Non-Christian parents. With all the issues surrounding us on a day-to-day basis, life seems to be an uncontrolled uphill roller coaster with no turn off switch. A major component of the challenges that I face are geared towards guiding my faith down to my daughter versus forcing her to abide by God’s rules. I would like to think that I raise my daughter to do what is right, to be honest, unselfish, loving of others, but yet, there will be moments as she grows older where things aren’t as simple. That is when I will be challenged the most and I want to be armed and prepared.
If there are any Single, Christian Parents out there facing this similar dilemma– please feel free to share your thoughts about raising children as God would have us to.