Friends, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Bethany from Book Review Mama. Her heart behind raising her children to love the Lord is absolutely beautiful, and she sets a great example for all of us. But even more so, I love her heart that is willing to grow more in love with Jesus along with children. Her website is full of great, valuable book reviews (both for children and adults), so do go check it out!
When I became a mom, I couldn’t wait to learn about the personality of that little person. I couldn’t wait to read many books. Go exploring, see first movies, establish family traditions, and just soak in the time of raising children.
Most of all, I was excited to raise him (and his siblings) to love the Lord. Having been raised in a Christian home and having attended a strong Christian college, I was eager to jump in. What surprised me, however, was that as we have invested spiritually into our children, my faith has been challenged and transformed. I have fallen more in love with the Gospel. The Lord has used our efforts to show our children Jesus and what it means to have a relationship with Him, to heal the areas of my life that needed transformation that only Jesus could provide.
Every night, my husband and I pray over our children. We pray for their salvation. We pray with them and for them as they conquer fears and learn to be kind and loving towards their brothers and sister. There is something quite humbling about praying over your children. As I beseech the throne of God on behalf of my children, I am reminded of the time my parents spent praying over me. Even more than a fond childhood memory, I am humbled by the fact that the Lord loves when we approach the Lord on behalf of the little souls He has entrusted to us. Modeling prayer to my children is such a honor. It is an opportunity to teach them that the Lord always listens, He is always available to them when they pray.
We read the Jesus Storybook Bible to our children. This book brings me to tears each time we read it because it is beautiful and rich in bringing the point of each Bible story back to the Gospel. I love introducing the singular theme of the Bible over and over again to my kids. I have spent many days rereading the chapter we just read from The Jesus Storybook Bible long after my kids have left our breakfast table. Even though I’ve been a Christian for over 27 years, I daily need the reminder that being a Christian and following Jesus is all because our loving God pursues His people with relentless love to restore what sin broke. The Jesus Storybook Bible focuses on the Gospel and I love being able to share the Gospel with my children over and over again.
Several weeks ago, my son and I began to have a conversation about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. We’ve had this conversation before, but as we began to talk, my five year old son began to interrupt me. He began to explore the Gospel to me. No longer was it me sharing and wondering if he got it. This time, I realized, he had it. He understood that having a relationship with Jesus means acknowledging we are sinners who are in desperate need of a Savior. He began to share that Jesus died on the cross for our sins to save us. The lump in my throat only grew bigger as my son talked. Then he decided he need to pray and ask Jesus to forgive his sins. My eyes swelled with tears as my firstborn prayed. Once he finished praying, I told him, “The Lord already answered your prayer. He forgave your sins on the cross.” My son nodded solemnly, “I know, Mom.” In that moment, my faith was changed. What a honor to watch your child explain the Gospel and allow the Lord to become the Lord of his life.
My children are young. Their faith is young too. As we begin to disciple them, I have no doubt the Lord will continue to refine and change my life too. What an honor to teach and simultaneously be taught.
Bethany Armstrong regularly blogs at . There, she shares the books she reads, as well as the books her children read. Bethany lives in Northeast Georgia with her husband, their three children and four dogs. When Bethany isn’t reading, she is most likely drinking coffee, doing the laundry or working out. Feel free to follow Bethany on Facebook ( ) and Instagram @bookreviewmama.