Skylar Harr is three years old. I have met her grandmother in Pennsylvania and, believe me, there are a a lot of special things about Skylar. But, to tell the truth, if you have grandchildren, I bet your lists of wonderful qualities about each of your grandchildren is just as long as this lady’s in Pennsylvania. The truth is, Skylar is wonderful, but she is just a regular three-year-old. She is a regular three-year-old who just finished learning one hundred Bible verses.
Skylar is one of a few three year olds I know who have done this. Why is this important and impressive? Because the Good Book says it’s the Word of God that puts faith into the hearts of our kids. Have you contemplated what faith can do for your little girl or boy? Faith can tip the scales toward righteousness as your kids make decisions through the teen years–decisions that can drastically affect the rest of their lives. Faith can anchor them for the disappointments that will necessarily be a part of their adult lives. They will eventually encounter problems that cannot be “fixed” here on this earth. Faith is what they will need to be able to see the other side where resolution will occur. Faith will secure their souls for eternity. It will, upon the age of accountability, be what saves them through their obedience. Faith is everything. Faith is all that matters.
How do we put the Word (and thus, faith) into the hearts of our children? Skylar’s parents have no magic wand for Bible memorization. I believe they will tell you that it is time and work and patience over a long period of time that makes this happen. Sure, there are tools that are helpful. Skylar’s mom and dad used the Hannah’s Hundred CDs that are available TheColleyHouse.org. They sang these verses and sang them and sang them some more. Children usually come into the world with a love of music. Parents like Skylar’s simply capitalize on that natural propensity to learn from repetition in song. Skylar responded well to the stimuli to which she was repeatedly exposed.
Another tool they used was some kind of tangible reward system. I think, from the photo they sent, it was just stickers. Kids love stickers and charts and stars and nickels and gum and happy meals and ice cream and family movie night. I want to go on record as saying that it’s okay to encourage our kids with hugs and affirmation and time and, yes, even prizes. Even our heavenly Father has a reward system. It is not inherently wrong to motivate our kids, in the early years, with hugs, happy times and Hershey’s. You will get into trouble quickly if you offer big prizes for little effort or if you offer a prize every time you ask something of your kids. But a well-placed system, every now and then, of awards for progress, trains our kids in patience and diligence.
Skylar’s parents also used the wonderful tool of Lads to Leaders. Lads to Leaders is one of the best tools I know about for motivating children and teens to develop leadership skills for the kingdom. You can find out more about this tool at lads-to-leaders.org. The Colleys have been involved in Lads to Leaders for 22 years now and we can vouch for its usefulness in the most important thing parents do.
But tools are not the main thing. The main thing is diligence in the hearts of parents. It is deciding that the most important gift you can give them is faith. It is dedicating your parenting years to putting the Word in their hearts. It is fully engaging in this pursuit on the days when you are energized and up to the challenge and on the days when you don’t feel so much “on your game.” In short it is deciding that as His spiritual Israel today, we will be parenting as such:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deut. 6:4-9)
My hat’s off to Skylar. She’s a very blessed little girl. I’m predicting, if her parents keep on doing what they are doing, there will be a lot of things that come relatively easy for her…like decisions for purity, choosing a Christian mate, and one day keeping her own kids out of jail and in the Lord. I’m thinking her sorrows will be eased because she will put on the yoke that is easy. I’m thinking when she crosses over Jordan, that her crossing will be a relatively easy transition, too, and that probably she will be welcomed by the parents who put the word in her at such an early age. I could be wrong, but that’s what I’m predicting. That’s faith’s reality. Heaven is on the other side.
The Digging Deep Podcast for April will be Tuesday, April 22nd at 7 p.m. CST. You don’t want to miss this discussion of God, The Son: The Savior of “Whosoever Will”. https://new.livestream.com/whcoc/for-women