Show, Then Tell

(In the picture above, my mom is teaching my grandson to raise his arms when she says, "Praise the Lord!")

I drove my 18-month-old grandson home after he had spent the day at our house. The sun was just beginning to set as I climbed out of the car. Shutting the car door behind me. I suddenly realized that, out of force of habit, I had clicked the lock button. I spun around to catch the door before it latched, but it was too late. The door was locked, along with my purse containing the car keys and my phone. In the back, was my grandson in his car seat.I ran to the house and rang the doorbell. When my son answered, I said,"Call Dad right away! I locked the door to the car and don't remember the combination to unlock it."My heart raced. I kept praying, "Jesus, please don't let Brayden start crying." Until now he had been watching us from the window, probably wondering what was taking so long.My son tried over and over again to reach his dad, but he didn't answer. I suggested he try calling my mom. Since my parents have an apartment in our home, she could tell my husband to call us. Unfortunately, my mother didn't answer her phone either.In the meantime, I'm praying while pressing various combinations hoping one of them would work. Over and over again I typed in numbers unaware even of which numbers I was typing. Finally, in what felt like a half hour but was probably less than five minutes, I heard a click. I grasped the handle and pulled and . . . IT OPENED!!!! Running around to the other side of the car where Brayden's car seat was located, I swung the door open. "Praise the Lord!" I sighed in relief.Immediately, Brayden's little arms went up, reaching for the sky, just like my mom had taught him. I had to chuckle as I pulled him out of the car seat and hugged him tightly. "That's right, little guy. You go right ahead and praise the Lord."It's never too early to start telling children about God. Sing to them about our Savior while they are newborn babes in your arms. Play praise music for them. Take them to church and let them experience worship services. You cannot give children a better gift than to lead them to the truth. But, most importantly, don't just tell them about Jesus. Show them every day what a Christian life looks like. Jesus said, "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:35 NIV) Your children will learn how a Christian behaves by watching you."Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." (Deuteronomy 6:5-9 NIV)Notice how God first told us to love Him with all our heart, soul, and strength. And then He told us to teach our children. It is crucial that we are in a right relationship with God first. If you cannot say that you love God with all your heart, soul, and strength, then stop making excuses for yourself. Begin today to draw near to Him. Ask Jesus to help you. Do it for yourself and do it for your children. They need you to guide them to the Savior. Is what you are saying confirmed by your actions? If not, your actions will drown out your words. Start today to empower the words you speak by asking God to assist you in loving Him with all your heart, soul, and strength. You can't live as you ought without the assistance of the Holy Spirit, so place your hand in His and let Him guide you. Obey God as you want your children to obey you and let Him help you create a godly home.

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January 19, 2022