I fell in love with Jesus on the flannel board in Sunday school. Praying with our pastor in our living room, I accepted Jesus as my Savior in central Florida a week before my 10th birthday and was baptized the following Sunday. I wore a light lavendar pants suit (it was 1971, you know) and was baptized in the Caloosahatchee River that ran behind the orange grove down our street. The only further instruction I received after my baptism was to “be sure to read your bible every day.” From that time until I had my first child, I was a baby Christian.

Jesus didn’t jump off my flannel board until I was 26 years old, on September 15th, in Women’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The moment I delivered Baby Girl, I finally got it. He gave up His child for me! At that very moment I confessed by baby-Christian-hood and begged that Jesus would become LORD of my life . . . and LORD of her life at a very young age. 20 months later, I prayed He would become LORD of our son’s life at an early age, as well. God honored those prayers and blessed our intentionality to do all that we could to make that happen.

With the humblest of heart, Baby Girl and #1 Son were more spiritually mature at 14 and 16 than I was at 25. Why? Because they had parents involved in God’s Word daily, they were connected with a body of believers through the local church, they each had regular Sunday school teachers in Children’s Ministry, and small group leaders that were invested in their lives as young adults under the direction of Titus 2 (if you want a good chuckle, read Titus Chapter 2 to see what the church is to teach young women and what the church is to teach young men), and a Mom that had committed their lives to the One she’d been raising them for. We intentionally and purposefully made the LORD the center of our home. And you can, too.

The scriptures tell us in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 that in short…Your family is your first ministry; your children your first mission field. Over the next couple of weeks I will be offering suggestions to help you be intentional and purposeful as you commit your children’s lives to the One you are raising them for.

Check out Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and begin this month with the basics: Worship in church together every Sunday for the next month and offer a prayer of thanksgiving at EVERY meal. I can’t wait to see how God will bless your efforts.