Devotional for Baby Shower for Elisha Smith Fernandez
I remember looking at my first baby and thinking -” I will raise him in my home for at least 18 years!” It seemed like such a loooong time! Meanwhile everyone was saying that the time would go quickly! And how right they were! As the song goes, “Turn around, turn around, turn around and you're a young girl (or boy) going out of the door.”
What do we want our child to be like when he “goes out of the door?”
God has given each of us mothers a special privilege and opportunity to raise and mold our child - our baby.
It is a wonderful opportunity, an awesome privilege, and a grave and great responsibility.
What do we want as the end result?
In our Mary Kay business, and any business for that matter, the company or the business owner, sets goals. What are my goals for this year, quarter, month, week? How much do I want to sell? How many appointments do I need to sell that? Do I want to work for a car? To be a director? Earn a trip?
As a teacher, we think, "what do we want our students to learn by the end of the year, the semester, the month, week, etc." It is called Student Learning Outcomes. (SLO)
Nothing happens by accident. If we don't have a plan, we plan to fail.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Now this isn't a promise. Proverbs are pithy sayings, words of wisdom, general principles to follow.
If you train a child in the direction he should be going - then he will stick with it, even when he is old - a young adult “going out of the door.”
So what is the direction he should be going? What is the end result you want? I am sure it is the same as mine was - to have my child grow into an adult who “loves the Lord his God with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his mind, and who loves his neighbor as himself. (Mtt. 22:37-39) Jesus said those were the greatest commandments.
I wanted my children to know God personally, to first have Jesus as their Savior, and then to follow Him and love Him, and not depart from Him ever. I wanted them not to just say, “I believe because that is what my parents taught me,” but to know for themselves that God was real, that He cared for them and loved them. To experience Him for themselves.
We know with training dogs or animals, it takes consistency along with love and encouragement. Same with children. But with children there is more - they need the example.
We teach by our example how we are to live and to love. Our children will follow what we do, and our subtle attitudes, even more than what we say to them.
Are we in fellowship with other Christians by going to church and Bible Study?
Do we read our Bible daily?
Do we pray consistently - without ceasing?
Are we serving with our gifts and talents?
The three most important things I personally believe we need to do are:
1. Read the Word of God to your child. It is “active and alive, sharper than a two edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12) The Word of God does not return void (Isaiah 55:11). It will never pass away (Mtt.24:35).
With my baby, Nathan, I read the Bible out loud to him while I was nursing him. Oh well if he didn't understand then, I figured I would start young telling him about Jesus, never knowing that he would see Jesus before I would. I can honestly say that all my children, even my newborn were taught about Jesus and had Scripture read to them.
2. Pray, Pray, and Pray. The enemy prowls around looking for someone to devour. He seeks to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). The only way to fight back is with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, and prayer in the powerful name of Jesus.
Pray Scripture over your child. Just this week I prayed Ephesians1:18 and Ephesians 3:16-19 for each of my children. That they "would be strengthened with power in their inner being" and they"would be rooted and established in love"and they "would have power to grasp how high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that they may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God". Tomorrow I will pray Ephesians 6:10 and following, that they "would be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power."
For my son and sons in law I pray Acts 6:3, 8 that they would be like Stephen and the early church elders - "full of the Spirit and wisdom," "full of faith and the Holy Spirit," and "full of God's grace and power."
With that, let's pray for little Henry to be just that kind of man when “goes out of the door” and for Elisha to have the wisdom, strength, and power she needs to raise him to be God's man full of of faith and the Holy Spirit.