My son, fear the LORD… ESV Proverbs 24:21
I remember my preteen years and the feeling in my heart that I really needed to start reading the Bible every day. I would try for a few days, then forget for a week, then try again, then forget again. I don’t remember exactly how old I was or for how long it went on, but I do remember that sometime around my tweens I began more-or-less regular time in God’s word each day. After my wife and I met, we compared notes, and discovered that she too began regular time in God’s word at that point in her life. As we further discussed our spiritual lives and what God had done, we realized this transition to daily time in His Word played a formidable role in our spiritual formation. Perhaps above all other factors this contributed to our developing our own faith and no longer relying on our parents’ faith. As I move a generation, my burden grows for my children to take similar steps.
Throughout Proverbs Solomon begs Rehoboam to fear the Lord, to find wisdom, to seek understanding. Time and again, Solomon realizes his son will have to embrace faith for himself. Rehoboam will have to seek the Lord on his own…he can’t just have Solomon always do it for him. For several years now I have been praying regularly that my children will begin to spend time with the Lord on their own. It’s a tricky challenge. On the one hand, I need to encourage it and do so. On the other hand, it has to come from within. God has to grab their heart and lead them into His Word. The goal of daily time with God is to cement our own faith, and I can’t force this on my kids.
By God’s grace, the three oldest are beginning this journey. Of course they miss a lot of days, and may even have seasons in the future when they aren’t regularly reading. I just know I rejoice in what God is doing. I continue to pray daily He will grab their hearts and draw them after Him. My encouragement for you is to do the same. Regardless of the age of your children or grandchildren, pray God grabs their hearts. He will. We can’t force it. We can only trust Him and wait. He is faithful.