Now that Jeff and I are alone, there are times we wonder if we have taught our children all they needed to know to succeed in the world… and be close to their Heavenly Father? In church yesterday one of the talks was on that very subject, I won’t give you all my notes but try to summarize a few of the things that were mentioned. One that really hit me was the talk about teaching your children to have Faith. Then they talked about shields and how they protect you … but if you remember the story of David and Goliath, David didn’t want to use the armor given to him, because it didn’t fit. So the point was…it is our responsibility as parents to teach them to have FAITH and how that is to be done in the home. Here are a few other things they mentioned about helping our children with their shield and armor of Faith…
1.That shield of faith is not produced in a factory but at home in a cottage industry.
2.The plan designed by the Father contemplates that man and woman, husband and wife, working together, fit each child individually with a shield of faith made to buckle on so firmly that it can neither be pulled off nor penetrated by those fiery darts.
3.It takes the steady strength of a father to hammer out the metal of it and the tender hands of a mother to polish and fit it on. Sometimes one parent is left to do it alone. It is difficult, but it can be done.
4.In the Church we can teach about the materials from which a shield of faith is made: reverence, courage, chastity, repentance, forgiveness, compassion. In church we can learn how to assemble and fit them together. But the actual making of and fitting on of the shield of faith belongs in the family circle. Otherwise it may loosen and come off in a crisis.
5.The prophets and Apostles know full well that the perilous times Paul prophesied for the last days are now upon us: “Men [are] lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection” (see 2 Tim. 3:1–7).
6.This shield of faith is not manufactured on an assembly line, only handmade in a cottage industry. Therefore our leaders press members to understand that what is most worth doing must be done at home. Some still do not see that too many out-of-home activities, however well intended, leave too little time to make and fit on the shield of faith at home. http://lds.org/ensign/1995/05/the-shield-of-faith?lang=eng
I love the analogy of the shield of faith. It is true, we as parents have a sacred responsibility to teach our kids as well as we can, so each day their armor is more resilient and strong enough,to withstand the temptations of the world. I hope that Jeff and I have done that for our kids? I hope they have enough Faith to endure the things they will have to challenge them? I hope they know that Jeff and I have great faith, but also realize that we have to work on strengthening that faith every day?
It was a great talk and a great reminder for all of us parents, to keep fitting, hammering, polishing and strengthening our children’s shield of faith! So even though we are empty nesters, our work is not done! For that I am grateful, I love being a Mother!
Good night dear friends!
“As parents, we should remember that our lives may be the book from the family library which the children most treasure. Are our examples worthy of emulation? Do we live in such a way that a son or a daughter may say, ‘I want to follow my dad,’ or ‘I want to be like my mother’? Unlike the book on the library shelf, the covers of which shield its contents, our lives cannot be closed. Parents, we truly are an open book in the library of learning of our homes.” ~ Thomas S. Monson
“The family is both the fundamental unit of society as well as the root of culture. It ... is a perpetual source of encouragement, advocacy, assurance, and emotional refueling that empowers a child to venture with confidence into the greater world and to become all that he can be.” ~Marianne E. Neifert
“It is in the home that we form our attitudes, our deeply held beliefs. It is in the home that hope is fostered or destroyed. Our homes are to be more than sanctuaries; they should also be places where God’s Spirit can dwell, where the storm stops at the door, where love reigns and peace dwells.” ~ Thomas S. Monson