I used to spend 1-2 hours tutoring Hannah after her classes, helping her with homework and giving her math exercises, etc. Last year, on her fourth grade, I relaxed this strict schedule and let her learn to study on her own. With this new arrangement, I set a fixed schedule of her study time that she needed to follow strictly, assisting her only in lessons that are difficult. My support to her became more of prayers, and in their graduation, by God’s grace, she received a silver medal in academic excellence.
When we have more of God and less of ourselves, when we trust Him more and let Him do His work in us, and depend less on our own efforts – His mighty deeds will be manifested in our lives.
We are so thankful to the Lord that we are able to send our daughter to a good school where the students are truly nurtured – in mind, heart and spirit. But as a Christian family, we nurture our children in the way of the Lord. In school, our daughter mingles with classmates and develops friendships with other kids that are of different nationalities, and we like that. But we also like to preserve the teachings of God’s Word in her, letting them be deeply infused in her heart, mind, and soul, and that she will always carry them wherever she goes and whoever she is with.
And so, I squeezed another half-hour in her schedule, and that is for our daily one-on-one Bible study period. So, this year, in her fifth grade, after her study period, we meet to study the Word of God. The 1-2 hours (sometimes more) that I used to spend teaching her rigorously (for I used to be a hard “taskmaster” when it came to studying :-(), a portion of that is now spent poring on and studying and discussing about the Scriptures.
We want that she will excel in school and grow to be a responsible, loving and caring person, and to love and follow the Lord Jesus fervently. These are our prayers for our kids, and so, we seek the Lord first.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Mat. 6: 33)
Seeking the Lord first, these are what we do, aside from diligently attending worship services:
We praise and worship the Lord in the morning and evening before we say our prayers
This is what our Church taught us: a praising and praying Christian is a powerful Christian. The ideal arrangement is for the whole family to praise and worship the Lord together for about 2 hours, which most of the families of our beloved brethren do. But in our case, my beloved husband and I praise and worship the Lord at home separately. He sings joyful and solemn songs for about an hour each, and as we have learned in Church, he dances and jumps (like David did!) during joyful singing, which I’m unable to do for now.
My private praise and worship time is more subdued and all-solemn, singing a few hymns but striving to seek the Lord’s face and to feel His sweet, holy presence during those few precious moments. Hannah, though she sings in the Children’s Choir every Sunday, sings to the Lord before uttering her prayers, in the morning upon waking up and in the evening before going to bed.
Spend time reading and meditating on the Word
On our one-on-one Bible study, Hannah chose to begin with the Gospel of John. First, I let her read the verses, usually ten verses or more in one session. Then, I ask her to discuss what she understood from what we have read. I encourage her to ask questions. I ask what she thinks and feels from those words of life. And then, I explain them to her in detail. In the end, I ask what the words compel her to do, and this is really a good thing because I can see her love for and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ deepening.
I give her two notebooks: one for writing the vocabulary words with their meanings that she learns from her daily reading of books that we carefully choose, and the other one is for writing down the daily Bible verse that I choose for her to memorize. She is to memorize one verse each day.
Looking at the world around us, we observe how hard it is to rear teeners. Some grow to be strong-willed and rebellious, insisting on having their own way and learning to be independent. But often, they go astray and end up ruining their lives and future.
But to the family that seeks God first and setting its love on Him, His light will constantly shine upon it, guiding it to a bright future.
“For I Know the plans I have for you”, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29: 11, NIV)