This morning, as I was getting ready to rush out the door for church, I mentally ran through my check list one more time. Showered and dressed... check. Children loaded in the van wearing appropriate attire and hair put up nice... check. Guitar and songbook... check. Wash baby's breakfast off her face... OH NO! That's what I forgot! I fed all three girls, but I myself did not eat breakfast!
Knowing if I did not get something that my sugar would drop, I quickly grabbed what I had time for... a tablespoon so overflowing with peanut butter that it threatened to topple with every move. Knowing I was already running late, I shoveled nibble after nibble into my mouth, trying to inhale the protein before going to the van so I did not have a dirty spoon to deal with. Not very far in, the peanut butter started to collect in my throat, refusing to go down and threatening to gag me. Due to trying to eat it too quickly, I ended up only able to stomach half of my treat before giving up in defeat... There was no way. You just cannot rush peanut butter!
There are many things in life that simply cannot or should not be rushed! One thing you must not rush is your children's maturity. They just grow up way to fast anyway! I so badly wanted my first child to quickly reach all her firsts that I pushed her... relentlessly. She could count, knew her colors, knew every letter's name and sound, and was completely potty trained by 19 months old. I started doing formal, sit down, seatwork, preschool with her at two and a half. Is it really that bad to teach, drill, and drill at that age? She was learning, right? Yes, she was smart, yes, she absorbed it like a sponge, but she grew up way too fast. She should have been sitting at a table drinking tea with her dolls or frolicking carefree through the sun-warmed dandelions, but instead she was sitting inside at the dining room table learning facts. Let your kids be kids. Don't rush them when it comes to growing up and "getting big"! Enjoy your babies!
You cannot, must not, rush them toward salvation. You can, and should, teach them that they are a sinner, that sinners go to Hell, that JESUS died on the cross so they do not have to go to Hell, and that believing on what Jesus did for us and asking HIM to save us is all we have to do to go to Heaven. You should not, however, push them toward a decision. That is the Holy Spirit's job.
Different children come to the age of accountability at different ages. My oldest got saved at 4. She was ready. She could not quit talking about or thinking about the fact that she was a sinner going to Hell. She asked Daddy to tell her how to get saved multiple times before he finally let her take that step. We were scared she was not old enough, nervous that maybe she did not understand and would think she was saved when she got older because of a prayer she did not understand as a child.
My middle child, however, who is 4 years old now, is not ready yet. She does not believe she is a sinner. There is no Holy Spirit conviction there. She still laughs while telling you she wants to ask JESUS in her heart. We are waiting for her to come to that point, like my oldest, where she knows she does bad things, knows there is a consequence for those bad things, Hell, and knows that faith in what GOD's SON did for us on the cross is the only way to Heaven. You cannot, and must not rush salvation in a young child!
The last thing you cannot rush is your own personal time with GOD, Mom. Your devotions and prayer time are so important to your ability to be the best mom you can be! It is only through GOD's strength that we can have the temperance to deal with the whining, fighting, and complaining. It is only through patience HE gives that we can constantly pick up a disarrayed house to have it dismantled again just as quickly. My children can tell when I took time to get something from my devotions in the morning and when I grudgingly rushed through to get it done out of habit. The difference is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! I must get good, quality alone time with GOD every morning, and so must you! You cannot rush your time with GOD, just the same as you can't rush peanut butter!
May Your Snack Slide Down Smoothly,