My friend Erin asked me to participate in a special blog party honoring our parents, highlighting our Christian heritage, and specifying ways that we want to pass that legacy on to the next generation. As she put it, today is our own little Honor Your Father And Your Mother Day. 🙂 Deuteronomy 5:16, “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” At first, I had lots of little ideas rolling around in my head—there are lots of things that I appreciate about my Christian upbringing that are being passed down to the next generation already! I had a hard time coming up with just one thing to highlight. In fact, I wrote two [fairly different] posts in anticipation of this blog party, and will just post the second one at a later time. 😉
When trying to think of something specific my parents did in their parenting that I am eager to do in my own—one of the main things that kept coming back to me was their constant spouting-off of Scripture. No joke: my parents had a Scripture for every situation. That simply taught me that Scripture applies to my every situation! It was a valuable lesson, and before I can remember it ever being specifically taught to me—it was simply exemplified for me.
My parents constantly reiterated the centrality of Scripture in our lives by word and deed. Deuteronomy 6:7, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
I have always had trouble with my memory, and Sunday School memory verses were a terrible stress for me as a young girl. So my dad came up with a handy solution—put the verse to music, and I would have it memorized in about ten minutes. My father was always quick to help me with Scripture, not only memorizing them in word but showing me how to apply them in my life, relationships, attitudes, joys, and struggles.
When my brother and I were older, beginning to try out our wings, my mother continued to bathe us in the Word. In fact, she would put little sticky notes with a new Scripture for each day on the steering wheel of my brother’s car and on the mirror in my bathroom. She never failed to encourage us with those little sticky papers covered in handwritten Scripture—in fact, I still have a collection of them that I simply didn’t want to part with.
These are just a couple of little ways that I want to likewise shower Scripture upon my child(ren). I want to help Gabriel memorize Scripture, whether it is to music or not, much like my father did for me. And I want to give him Scriptures for specific days and specific trials, much like my mother did for me. I want to emphasize the completeness and coherency of Scripture for everything God ordains in my life and the lives of my children. 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
Besides emphasizing the centrality of Scripture in general, my parents also emphasized (through word sometimes, but largely through example) the prominence of the Psalms. In prayer, in singing, in encouragement, in exhortation—Psalms were just a part of our daily life. Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” I have learned to cling to this precious book of the Bible more than any other, as it encompasses everything I could imagine! What a beautiful prayer book. What a stout song book. What a timely encouragement book. What an honest story book.
I want to continue singing Psalms with and to Gabriel, reading them with him (two of his favorite books already are Psalm 127 and Psalm 103), encouraging & exhorting him with them throughout his life—both childhood and adulthood. I want to keep praying Psalms over all of my children, even while in the womb.
I am thankful that God blessed me by putting me in a family overflowing with covenantal faithfulness that goes back for many generations. I am thankful that God blessed me by giving me parents who were faithful not only to God & His Word, but also to one another and to their children. I am thankful that God has continued to bless me through my parents’ encouragement and exhortation even in my adulthood. And I am thankful that God’s grace is abundant, as I endeavor to set before my children a godly example of faithful Christianity, ardent wifehood, and fruitful motherhood. May I, like my parents before me, never neglect to emphasize the centrality of Scripture in our life, home, and family—and to nurture a love for and knowledge of the Psalms, making them prominent each day. May I inculcate hope in my family as we cling to Scripture to supply our instruction and encouragement. Romans 15:4, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”