Written By: Maresa L. DePuy
I smile when I open my Bible to Ecclesiastes chapter two. Not necessarily because it contains a favorite verse. I smile at what greets me at the bottom of the page.
At some point during my daughter’s toddler years, like many small children, she began practicing the first initial of her name. She drew capital M’s everywhere. I’m sure her preschool teacher encouraged this, as did her mother. One day, while flipping through Ecclesiastes, I stumbled on some of her preschool “homework:” a series of pen marks that vaguely resembled two M’s.
I don’t remember if at first this discovery ticked me off (it most likely did.) But through the years, I’ve grown to cherish page 747. Along my rollercoaster journey of throwing pebbles—small acts of love—to ripple good into my kids’ hearts, I crave reminders that every once in a while, something goes right. On the uphill days of parenting, page 747 is a blessed reminder.
Please hear me. I am not saying I condone children scribbling in the Bible.
My baby girl wasn’t writing in my Bible to be naughty. She was repeating an action. She saw her mommy take a pen and “crayon” to underline and make notes in the Bible. Though I speak to my kids of the importance of cherishing God’s Word, nothing speaks louder than my actions. The daily pebbles I threw as I opened and read my Bible rippled into her preschool-aged heart and mind and resulted in change. She “caught” the habit.
My heart soars when I see one of my teenage children with their Bible open. There was a time when we shared daily devotions together. But as they’ve grown and schedules have changed, it’s become their personal privilege and choice to open their Bibles and draw near to God, so He will draw near to them.
To keep things real, I confess that not all habits my kids have learned from me are as holy as this one. I watch too much TV. I complain about the humidity and the unemptied dishwasher (among other things). I drink too much coffee and not enough water. I’m far too attached to my iPhone…
You get the point.
I have miles to go in the department of setting a perfect example. But if I can point my children to the example, the Word-made-flesh, then at least I’m getting something right. And I do believe it’s the main thing.
At the end of the day, if my children’s TV-watching habits are less than optimal and they’re a tad over caffeinated, but they love Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind and strength . . . I’m good with that.
Maresa DePuy has a B.A. in Journalism from Indiana University and has worked in non-profit public relations for the American Red Cross and United Cerebral Palsy Associations. She travels throughout Uganda interacting with people living in poverty and those who’ve been lifted out of it. She shares her musings and observations about following Christ in the First and Third Worlds at http://www.maresadepuy.com, on Facebook and Twitter (@MaresaDePuy). Maresa resides just outside of Charleston, SC where she lives on mission as a wife to one and mom to two.