It's my first blog party! At least I think that is what this is. :-) My friend Erin had this great idea to host a blog party about honoring our Christian Heritage. So here goes.....
I grew up in a totally christian home. I never knew what it was like to sleep in on Sundays. Or to not be involved with my church. Or to start eating a meal before praying. My entire extended family on both my mother and father's side are Christian. Aunts, Uncles, cousins, even second Aunts and once-removed cousins (not even sure if that is what they are called!) are believers. And I really took this all for granted until I met and married my husband, who not raised in any church. And now as an adult I see what a blessing it is to grow up in that environment and I am so grateful that the Lord placed me exactly where I am. When I think about specific things of my heritage that influenced me, many things come to mind; so in this post I want to focus on only one or two of them.
One of my earliest memories is waking up in the mornings and hearing my mom singing in her room. My dad left for work at 5:15am weekday mornings and most every morning after he left my mom would have her daily devotional time then. She would spend an hour reading her braille Bible or listening to a sermon; singing praise songs and praying. Sometimes I would come and sit on her bed and listen to her sing or read her Bible. When I was old enough to read she began encouraging me to have a daily devotion time. She suggested reading a Proverb a day, and coinciding it with the calendar. On the 1st of the month read the first chapter of Proverbs, on the 2nd read the second one and so on. I still actually follow this system to this day. I remember in my early teens rebelling a little and 'forgetting' to have my Bible/prayer time, and she really came down on me. She truly impressed on me the importance of personal prayer and scripture reading which still stays with me today. But it is always a struggle for me! Even now, I miss days all the time and neglect that important time with God. But thanks to her good example and encouragement, I do see how much I need that time and try, by God's grace, to faithfully carve time out in the day for it.
Another thing that I am so thankful for is how my parents taught me how to find a mate. In my early teens my mom and had many, many conversations about my feelings, what kind of man I wanted to marry and the purpose of dating. The one thing that my parents impressed upon me was that dating was a prelude to marriage. I was not planning to get married when I was 14, so any close relationship with a guy was discouraged. My mom equated the cycle of dating someone, then breaking up, then dating someone else, then breaking up to marriage, divorce and remarriage. It really made sense to me even though it was very hard seeing kids my age go on dates and to proms while I stayed home. My parents also said that any guy I started dating had to have a relationship with them as well which I was very grateful for. I even used that as an excuse once when I was asked on a date....having to meet my dad and visit for a while was a bit intimidating. I did meet my future husband when I was 18, he came over for dinners and visited after church on Sundays for a few months and then asked my dad if we could date. My dad said yes, 3 1/2 years later he asked my dad for my hand in marriage and we became forever one 6 months later. I can gladly say that my husband is the only man I have ever kissed or touched physically. I know my weak heart when I was a teenager and I can now say that if I was left to my own advices I would have most likely given away kisses or maybe even more. I am so thankful for my parents who, when given the incredible responsibility of raising children, stepped up and stood firm in what they believed.
And this then is also what I want for my children; that they would have a personal bible time each day and see the relationship they would have with their future spouse as serious and life long. And this is where grace lies, because in teaching both of these things to my children, I fail. I have days where I forget my bible time, just like I am sure my mom did. And I miss opportunities for discussions with my children about their future, as I am sure my parents did too. Does this mean I give all my teaching up and just let God take care of them? Absolutely not! I am commanded in the bible to train them, discipline them and love them. And so I will do my best, as my parents did. I am so thankful that our God is a gracious God, and sees our imperfections as parents and draws our children to Him regardless. And I am so thankful for my parents; for the love, training and example of godliness they were to me.
~To see more posts about Christian Heritage, visit Erin's post and see who else is participating.