As with any other building, the foundation of a home determines its capacity for both weight and height. It must be able to support the load of the house that’s being built, considering the design, overall size, and building materials. Without a strong foundation, the homeowner is likely to face costly repairs in the future.
What you have the capacity to become, both as a woman and as a mother, depends upon the foundational issues of your faith. If you want your life to be supported by your chosen foundation, then you must spend time in establishing a stalwart one that will stand the test of time and withstand the storms of life.
I believe there are foundational truths that you must build your home upon. If these truths are neglected or overlooked, the cracks of impatience, anger, and bitterness may cause your family to be on shaky ground. However, if you focus on the necessary foundational truths and create a home that is built upon this bedrock, then when the storms of life come — and come they will — your home will remain steadfast in the face of insurmountable odds.
How to build a foundation with His Word
My dad was a quiet general of the faith; he didn’t bark orders, nor did he demand honor, but he gently and serenely lived a life of uncompromising commitment to the Word of God. His name will never be listed in anyone’s Hall of Fame nor will he ever be recognized as a prestigious man in the eyes of the world; however, his extraordinary attention to the eternal truth of Scripture will ricochet through generations of those who have been impacted by his unpretentious life.
Every Saturday evening, Dad wrote a new Scripture verse on the blackboard that hung on the wall behind the kitchen table. Throughout the week, we talked about the verse and committed it to memory. The verse was erased on Saturday afternoons and Dad would challenge his three children to recite it from memory at the dinner table. He didn’t give prizes or rewards for memorizing Scripture but his smile and his quiet, “Well done,” was all the reward that I needed.
Your children need to know that there are some things in this world that never change; they need to have an understanding that although the culture may evolve, there is a constant in their lives upon which they can rely. The truth of Scripture is the most valuable commodity that a family can build a life upon. When the Bible is honored in a home, it does a miracle in the lives of each family member. “For the word of God is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12); it will enable a family of diverse personalities and opinions to find unity and peace.
The greatest gift you can give to your children is the foundation that only the Bible supplies. I am not talking about preaching to your children; I am referring to the absolute necessity of treasuring the Bible every day in your family home.
When we brought our babies home from the hospital, I placed their miniature hands on my Bible and I told them, “This is the Bible. It’s God’s Word to us. We love the Bible.”
When our children were toddlers, we lined up all their stuffed animals and talked about Noah’s ark and about the importance of obeying God.
We used goldfish crackers to reenact Jesus’s feeding of the 5,000. To the children’s delight and surprise, goldfish crackers would appear all around the room.
Craig and I firmly believed that children only needed a twofold theology until they were about ten years old: they needed to know that Jesus loved them unconditionally and enthusiastically; and they needed to know that the Bible says children are to obey their parents.
Our goal as parents was to stress the truth of Scripture, its unchanging nature, and its application to our daily lives.
We were careful to talk about the Bible both reverently and joyfully. Craig and I deeply desired for our children to know that no one has a better idea than God and that the abundant life is the best life!
Children learn what they live. If they see their dear mama reading her Bible, they too will know the value and the joy that is found on the sacred pages of Scripture. I have always known that I would be unable to leave my children a legacy of earthly treasures, but I was more than able to give them that which will never corrupt or grow old.
Honoring, memorizing, and reading the Word of God is a foundational issue of family life.
How to incorporate Worship into your children’s lives
Children love to sing and dance! They love a good shout and the ability to give honor to others. I believe that the happiest of homes is the one in which worship is loud, perpetual, and sincere.
The first song that your baby should hear you sing is, “Jesus Loves Me.” You should sing the great hymns of faith to your baby even when your precious child is still in your womb. A familiar song to an infant’s ears should be the song that flows from his or her mother’s own heart.
When you are up all night with a colicky baby, turn it into a worship service and sing rather than moan or cry.
A family can never rejoice too much — it’s just not possible! Worship will bind your family together in a way that little else is able to do. As a family, it’s more important to sing praises to the Lord than it is to play sports or games together. As a family, it is more restorative to worship around the piano than to spend time at the library. Worship serves as an invisible yet constant relational glue that will stand the test of time and differences in personality.
Worship is also the awareness that God is present in the middle of our lives. We acknowledge Him and His grace when we sing; when a family chooses to worship God, they are choosing to live in the divine place of God’s design. We were created to make much of God, not to make much of ourselves. Teaching children from an early age to keep their eyes and heart set on Jesus in worship truly is a precious part of family life.
Does your family have a theme song? If not, there’s no better time than today to choose one. Select an anthem that will carry your family through storms and fires, a melody that will be a stirring reminder of the faithfulness of God. Take a song for your very own that makes much of the Lord whom you serve.
Teaching your family to worship the Lord together is a foundational issue of family life.
Excerpt from Rooms of a Mother’s Heart: A Sacred Call and an Eternal Purpose, © 2021 by Carol McLeod, published by Whitaker House. Used with permission.