Worshiping as a family at church each Sunday is one of my top priorities, but getting ready for church is often much harder than I anticipate. This experience I had one Sunday, as I was driving my children to church, taught me that the teaching in our family isn’t confined to formal settings.
On this particular day, my husband had gone to early church meetings, so I had spent the morning feeding, dressing, and preparing “quiet” bags for my four young children. As I loaded everyone into our van, I felt completely frazzled by our morning’s activities…the unexpected last-minute diaper change, the disappearing church socks I was sure I had laid out, the squabbling between a couple of my children, and the numerous spills we had experienced at breakfast time. As we started our ten-minute drive to the chapel, I knew we needed reverence in our car to help us prepare for our church meeting, so I started talking to the children about why going to church is so important to me.
I testified of our Savior’s life, of His atonement, and of His great love for us. Then my children started asking questions. One child said, “What do the scriptures mean when they say He bled from every pore?” Another child asked, why the bread represents the body of the Lord. I answered their questions as well as I could, and as I spoke, we all felt a powerful, beautiful spirit enter our minivan. By the time we arrived at the chapel, my children were quiet and settled, and we were ready to participate in the sacred ordinance of partaking of the sacrament. I knew at that moment that my work as a mother–teaching my children diligently, even when things are hard–is of the utmost importance to the Lord.
I’ve thought often about this scripture in the Old Testament found in Deuteronomy 6:7. “And thou shalt teach [the commandments] diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up…” What a beautiful guide on how to teach our children. As mothers, our teaching is rarely done in a formal setting. Instead of using desks, chalkboards, or PowerPoint presentations, we teach as we go throughout each day. We talk about healthy food as we unload our groceries. We teach the importance of literacy and education as we help our children finish their homework. We teach that getting ready for church is not just about looking our best on the outside, but about being our best on the inside.
Teaching our children is such a sacred privilege, and whether we are trying to get ready for dinner, ready for school, or ready for soccer practice, when an opportunity opens to teach our children, it is my hope that we can always be ready.
QUESTION: What have you done to teach your children reverence for spiritual things in your life?
CHALLENGE: Be aware of moments in your day when you can share your beliefs with your child.