Try These On For Size


After a couple of sweet comments from friends about my children (ones that brought tears to my eyes) I thought, my children are not my own.  They are God’s, and He’s entrusted them to me.  As a mom, I feel the weight of getting it right.  This is my only chance to raise my children well.  The time is now!

Do you ever feel the weight of that responsibility?

I screw up all the time.  I throw temper tantrums.  I say things I shouldn’t.  I’ve been known to wear and watch things I shouldn’t.  I admit the more I fall in love with God and the closer I walk with Him, the more these things change.  But just saying…  I’ve been known to.

So I was thinking…How could I do it better? 

I want to teach them the things of God without it being like a boring Sunday School lesson.  We have routine Bible time.  But since my babes were old enough to talk, I’ve prayed with them and talked about God and His word in the day-to-day ins and outs.  We try to incorporate Jesus into everyday life and normal conversations.  After all, He is in the everyday, we just have to develop spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear Him, right?

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:18-19

One thought led to another, like what about these girlie conversations I’ve had to have with my Haley girl lately?

I wonder if I’m doing it right.  I’ve always wanted the dialog about her body changing, puberty, sex and so on to be open between us.  I never wanted to have that one weird, icky, uncomfortable conversation with her.  So I’ve fought to keep conversations open and easy.  Haley knows with her mama it’s always going to be tasteful but fairly matter of fact.  That’s just me!

I’m reminded of how quickly time is passing when she tries on my shoes.  For so many years she would get in my closet and flop around the house in oversized shoes.  Now she asks to wear them.  She can borrow them (well my flats anyway) because they actually fit!

 She wears them well… my attitudes, actions,  thoughts, and ideas.  She soaks me in like a sponge.  She wants to be like me.  So, she chooses to walk in my shoes!

Things are caught not taught.

I heard a pastor say that once, and it stuck.  Whether we’re moms, older sisters, aunts, or grandmas, we have a responsibility to live what we expect our girls to live.  That do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do way of thinking has to go.  Children will mimic what they see being lived out before them.  We can teach with words until we’re blue in the face, but they will do what they’ve caught us doing.

Want a girl with modesty?  Be modest.

Want her to know her value?  Know yours. 

Want her to demonstrate confidence?  Be confident (Self-confidence will only go so far, so remember to be GOD-confident). 

Want her to value others?  Demonstrate the importance of relationships by loving and forgiving well.

What will it look like when she walks in your shoes?

20 thoughts on “Try These On For Size

  1. laurabennet says:

    Very true. I’ve seen this with my grown daughters and am right there living it with my twelve year old. They will still all make their own choices, but the more Jesus like input we can give them, the better. I think that is what the Bible means when it tells us to train up our children in the way they should go. When they are old (grown up?) they will stick with that training. Hopefully, they will do even better with their children 🙂

  2. Amy Alves says:

    Amazing Rivera, God is so good to be revealing our human hearts and needs and providing the wisdom to see the difference between us and Him. Only then can I transfer His love to my little ones… mine just doesn’t reach far enough. I want God’s love to reach their souls today… ~ Love, Amy 🙂

  3. Judy says:

    The best advice I can give young mothers is to seek their own spiritual and emotional maturity, for we cannot lead our children into healthy territory that we ourselves do not inhabit. They can follow only as far as we can lead. I “grew up” quite a lot as I raised my children. In many ways they grew along with me. By the grace of God, they are walking well in their own shoes as young adults, and it is a great joy to walk along side of them now. Nice post, Rivera. Thanks!

  4. Jimmy Proulx says:

    I believe that God teaches us more about ourselves by giving us children. We are more aware of what we watch, read, say, wear, do. We become aware of the kind of people we want around our children or don’t want for that matter. There is an awesome responsibility in raising a child in a way that honors God. He created you and as he gave us works to accomplish before the foundation of the world, one of those works for some is raising a child. The best thing that I can do for my son is to live the life God has called me to live and to show my son what a godly man looks like. God’s gift to a parent is a child. The parent’s gift to God is how they raise the child.

  5. creationscience4kids says:

    Oh, boy, these times with my dd are just around the corner. I just hope she never quite fits my size 11s!

    Hi, I’m new on wordpress and had a look around for other Christian Parents. 🙂

    Ditto on the beautifully stated. I, too, look at my tender hearted, good attitude kids and think “it’s all God. I’m not perfect, that’s for sure.” May God continue to work in our loved ones’ lives, and guide us each day to be responsive handmaidens to say, do and be what He wants us to be!

    From what I’ve heard, being transparent and honest about our Christianity and humanity (not letting it all hang out, but not trying to pretend we’re perfect) is the best way to pass on true love of God to our kids.

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      You’re welcome to come by and hang out with me, a fellow “Christian parent,” any time;) Yes transparency is definitely something I strive for with my children. I even point out when I’ve been wrong about something and apologize to them:) Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  6. Pamela Healy Nogueira says:

    Great blog again, Rivera!!! That is a great reminder…be the woman you want your daughter to be!!! I’ve noticed that my girl has adopted the same CRITICISMS I have. Sometimes this is good, like when it comes to my stance on short shorts! Sometimes it’s just not good, and I need to remind myself that little ears are listening!!!

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Thanks Pamela. I certainly relate to the criticisms. I have to ask God to filter my thoughts before I speak, because yes there are little ears listening.

  7. Mary says:

    BEAUTIFULLY stated! If I were to add anything, it would only be that we need to teach children to question and process the information they receive by showing them how we do the same (using God’s Word as our guide). At the same time, we want to nurture the kind of trusting relationship that encourages them to “try out” their ideas with us before they take them into the world. I love what you say about keeping conversations “open and easy…tasteful but fairly matter of fact.” How different a world it would be if we approached all our conversations this way…with children, spouses, friends and strangers, bosses and colleagues…with everyone!

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