We are a Christian homeschool family, but I often feel like I’m failing to keep a healthy pulse on my children’s individual spiritual lives. We talk about the Bible daily, participate in Bible study – together and individually, go to church together, and yet I feel like I don’t know where their hearts are in relationship to their Creator, Savior.
We don’t push them, we don’t ask leading questions, and we don’t require them to say the right answers. We want their hearts to be wooed by the Spirit on His timing.
But sometimes being faithful in the daily tending of their hearts’ soil can leave me feeling like I’m not doing enough. I get caught up in the annoying behaviors – the sibling squabbles, the push and shove of I’m right/you’re wrong – and I feel lost in all the horizontal mess and forget to engage vertically.
This is why I’m so thankful for the spiritual calendar. The hard stops in life that call my whole attention to focus. I like the idea of liturgy, I like the regular pulse and rhythm for the whole year – not just the cultural frenzy over Christmas and Easter where we insert a couple sentence explanation of “what the real meaning is” right before opening gifts or searching for eggs.
But I don’t want to teach that a liturgical life in and of itself is a redeemed life. Just because I need rhythm, order, and conscious stops in my life doesn’t make those things righteous. And I’m thankful that my husband’s disposition is different than mine, because he balances my desire to schedule-all-the-things.
One tool I’ve found useful above all others in observing and honoring a spiritual calendar is Celebrating Biblical Feasts: Experience the New Testament Significance of Old Testament Celebrations by Martha Zimmerman. Did you know that while on earth, Jesus fulfilled 6 of the 7 Jewish feasts? The final Feast of Trumpets is yet to be fulfilled (but I bet you have a clue as to why).
It’s Good Friday and we are gearing up to observe the Passover. We center around the Seder plate each year, and we have done this for 5 years now. It’s at the heart of our Easter celebration and the significance of the Seder items has left lasting impressions on our children. Zimmerman’s book is now at the center too because it is written to the whole family. She draws out how the celebration is for children:
Did you know the Passover feast is for your children? “And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever” (Exodus 12:24)
So when we talk about preparing for Passover and celebrating Christ’s resurrection, it blesses my heart to hear my children get excited over each item on the plate. They connect with biblical history through the food. And it’s supposed to be that way.
When I take for granted that we are always sowing seeds into their hearts, I begin to think we need to schedule more things into our spiritual lives. But here I am on this Good Friday ready to enter into the weekend quietly and with smallness. I want to do what we do well and trust that God Himself will do the heart work in my children.
My son said to me yesterday, “Mom, I know why it’s called ‘Good Friday’. It’s because that is the day when Jesus died to take away my sin.”
Yes, yes it is a good, Good Friday indeed. Let me always remember.
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