The Dust of Your Rabbi
There is an old Jewish saying, "May you be covered by the dust of your Rabbi." What it means is: "May you follow so closely behind your Rabbi in his travels that the dust he kicks up covers you." They weren't literally wishing you were dirty, but that you imitated your Rabbi, his habits, thoughts, and actions as closely as you could.
So how does this apply to raising children in a Godly way? We've all heard before that leading by example is key. But what leaves a lasting imprint is the motivation behind your actions. Rabbinical students desired to be like their Rabbi to the extent that one day they might be seen as the same as their Rabbi. So we must follow after Jesus with our whole hearts.
Only by living daily with Jesus, talking with Him often, soaking in His Word, living out the life He would lead if He were us, can we hope to root our children firmly in the foundation of Christ. In other words, we must live daily rooted in Christ ourselves, until our children know that we do as we say; that we live as we say.
Our pastor recently said studies have shown as much as 89% of college students who professed faith in Jesus prior to heading off to college left the faith later. That seems kind of high to me. Even so, there are a lot of young adults leaving the faith. Why?
Our pastor's theory (and that of many others) is that these college students were brought up to follow the rules of religion. They followed well as long as the rule-makers and rule-enforcers (Mom and Dad) were around, but once in the "freedom" of college, they fell away.
If we want to instill a deep faith in Jesus that cannot be shaken, we must get to the HEART of the matter. We need to love Jesus first, and follow behind him second (follow the rules He lays out because we love Him; not follow the rules so we can earn His favor--we can't). So what can you do to deepen your child's faith?
Read the Bible with them often, ask questions about what they read--not just who or what questions. Ask the why and how questions to get them thinking.
Pray over them, allow them to see you praying
Live out scripture to the best of your abilities--follow your Rabbi, Jesus, and get His dust all over you!
Question your children about their faith. Why do you believe this? Do you really think it happened this way? How can God...?
Most of all, this is not a five-minute process. It takes a lifetime with your children, discipling them to follow their Rabbi, too.
Jenny is a Christian, wife of 13 years, mom to two boys, and a teacher. She lives in Texas, but isn't a native Texan. Her blog, Full Cart Full Wallet, started as a way to journal her savings as she learned to coupon. It has now become a way to share free samples, coupons, deals, and coupon matchups with others. Her goal: leave the store with a cart full of groceries, and a wallet full of money!
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