It is the end of summer 2016 and I am on the phone with my mom. The conversation had taken a dark turn and I was doing my best to redirect her to light and soft hearted conversations. Her autoimmune diseases were exacerbating while she was simultaneously trying to mentally prepare for an upcoming major surgery. She was thinking of all the possibilities of what could happen during the surgery and was considering her death. She had this strong sense of impeding doom, she suspected that something would happen and she wouldn’t make it.
I was washing dishes while on the phone with my mom. Do you ever do this? Call your mom and chat while you go about getting household work done? Well I did. Then I shut off the water and listened intently as her voice filled with angst. “Sarah, I just know something is going to happen and I feel like I need to get my affairs in order just in case.”
I shifted uncomfortably, I couldn’t imagine life without mom so I denied and refused to acknowledge this possibility. In an upbeat voice I tried again to redirect her to more positive thoughts. “Mom I know your health isn’t the greatest but we are so medically advanced that this procedure should go well for you!” “Besides above all else you have God.” I hear a deflated sigh. “You don’t understand.” She was right, in my heart I didn’t want too.
“Sarah, I have to tell you this one thing. This one very important thing. You know I might not have been the best mom but I always made sure you knew God. I can at least say that I did my best to bring you up to know the Lord. That your sisters knew God. That you would pass this down to your kids, my grandbabies. It is so important Sarah promise me that this will always be the priority in your family.”
Awkwardly I continued, “Ok mom.”
I often reflect back on this conversation and it gives me the chills.
Since my mom has gone to heaven so much within me has changed. In fact, the life trials that I have experienced over the last several years has given me a very different perspective and is leading me towards a path of spiritual growth, discernment, and wisdom.
I played that conversation over and over in my mind. I already knew how significantly important it is to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior as it is only through him we are saved of our sins and accepted into heaven. However, after experiencing my own near death then living through the unexpected and sudden death of my mother- It then became top priority to nourish the spirit of my children and I, through the word of God.
Think about it for a moment.
I know death isn’t something we want to think about but it is inevitable and could happen at any time. At the end of your life do you know where you are going? What about your children? In the American culture the religion of secularism is growing. Yes, I think secularism has become its own religion. Children that were even raised by “Christian” parents are being led astray these days.
Which makes me wonder why is anyone being led down a spiritual path of destruction?
(If you question the historical validity of Jesus Christ check out this video: The Historicity Of The Resurrection Dr. Gary Habermas.“Gary Robert Habermas is an American historian, New Testament scholar, philosopher of religion, and Christian apologist who frequently writes and lectures on the resurrection of Jesus.” (Dr. Gary Habermas)
I do think a significant part of it is the majority of children attend public schools. As Christian families we cannot expect to send our children to a place where they spend more time in a secular anti-God environment then they do in one and still walk away believing in Jesus Christ. Critics will say, “Oh but isn’t your God all powerful?” or even believers will rest in this assurance that our God is bigger than an ungodly school system.
God is all powerful. He is loving. In fact, he loves us so much that he wants us to choose him and he gave us the free-will to do it. Do you think it is easier or harder for our Christian children to continue to believe in God when they spend more time in a school system that worships itself then within a God fearing family?
This is the number one reason why we homeschool. I barely made it out of the public school system with my faith intact. My school was rampant with sex, drugs, and violence. It took years of being out of that environment and the holy spirit directing me back towards God before I started to spiritually heal. With the rapid progression of ethical and moral societal decline in our current public school system, one can only imagine it is that much harder too choose Christ.
Our children’s souls are not something to be gambled with.
Yet, home education in itself isn’t an answer. Admittedly, as each of us begin to homeschool we often prioritize academics over spiritual nourishment. Even with my prior life experiences and knowing how important our spiritual health is, in the beginning I started each day with some sort of academic lesson.
But what did this tell my children?
More importantly, how did it nourish spiritual growth within our family?
Well starting each day doing math, reading, or writing indirectly influenced my children to think the academic portion of education is of most importance. When we know as Christians it isn’t. Authentically, it wasn’t until I chose a curriculum that scheduled daily scripture readings and bible memorization did I then make spirituality the top priority in our family.
I knew better.
As I pondered this I began to realize that I wasn’t spiritually aware.
Are you prioritizing school, work, or anything else above nurturing a relationship with God?
Are you aware that if you are not spending each day in the word or prayer than your spirit isn’t being fed?
What happens when anything isn’t fed?
If your now awakening to the idea that you might not have been spiritually aware you can change it.
You can wake up each morning and start your day in scripture speaking biblically truth to the souls of your children and to yourself.
What else can you do?
Not just the standard prayers before dinner and before bed. If you don’t do that I suggest you start. I mean throughout the day praying. Praying out loud in front of your children and modeling the example so they know God is always a prayer away. Observing that this is how we connect to God, how we talk to him, and build our relationship with him.
Sometimes our children seek us as a solution to their problems. Instead stop and pray together, asking God to direct them to the right answers. Ultimately, this teaches our children to rely on God and not on us. Which only helps them as adults, when they have adult size problems that we can’t fix and only God can.
The Spiritual Head of Family
As Christian wives and mothers our husbands, our children’s father are head of the spiritual family. We can do all of this spiritual work but when he is home we need him to fulfill his biblical role. Which is harder these days since there is a cultural war on men. I am sure their confidence is being hit by it. As Christian women we need to have our husband’s back and lift them up in spiritual encouragement. We need to pray for our husbands. In some instance, we need to ask for them to take the lead.
Complete transparency- I did.
With no anger or bitterness, just a candid and gentle conversation asking my husband to take the spiritual lead as the head of our family. That open and honest communication works, sometimes we have nightly bible readings and then sometimes scripture at dinner. Sometimes when we have spiritual issues within our family we don’t go to church and instead we have a small service lead by my husband at home. He typically chooses passages from the bible that address the spiritual issues he sees within our family. Try it, little by little you will see spiritual growth in a multifaceted direction within your own family.
I reflect back on that conversation with my mom all of the time. The timing and just how certain she was, plus her final plea. Life is precious but it can be over in a single heart beat. At the end of it, it doesn’t matter how intelligent you are, educated, or even how much money you have. God doesn’t care about it, from the dust of the earth you were created and to it you will return. But what about your soul? Where will your soul go? Are you nourishing the spirituality in your family?