My whole life changed when I realized something as a young mama: Church was not enough.
I know, I know . . . we Christians shouldn’t say such things, but looking back, I wish they had, so I wouldn’t have relied solely upon it for the health of my children’s spiritual lives. Maybe then I wouldn’t have endured one of the scariest seasons of my life.
For several weeks, God allowed my family to walk through a season of fear. My kids began waking up in the middle of the night from vivid nightmares and terrifying visions, from feelings of dread to a downright fear of the dark. During these weeks, NO ONE was getting any sleep . . . most of all, me. It got to the point where I thought I was going to lose my mind.
Though I begged my children to be strong and courageous, we ALL gave way to our fears. We weren’t connecting the things that we had learned at church to real life. Something was missing that kept us from living out our faith.
Though God eventually brought us out of that difficult season, it wasn’t without battle wounds. It still goes down as one of the most frightening experiences of my life.
Months after this, God brought Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 to my attention and lit those verses on fire in my heart:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
I suddenly knew how to help my kids live out their faith: I had to teach them. God, through these verses, called me to not only love Him with all my heart but to also talk about Him and my faith often with my children.
It was then that I realized what the missing piece was: me. I had relied solely upon my kids’ Sunday school teachers to teach them what they needed to know, thinking that they would automatically connect it to their lives. That moment was a game changer for me.
Over the next several weeks to months, I started living out Deuteronomy 6:4-9 by having intentional talks about faith with my kids; we memorized Scripture together and created simple prayers out of those verses. Most of all, we started praying together as a family.
Looking back, God used that season to shake me out of my spiritual slumber and light my heart on fire to share faith with my family.
Over the years, God grew this passion. Preparing to teach at a ladies’ retreat, I was led to the word legacy. I meditated on questions like “What is my legacy?” and “What do I want to pass on to my children?” So I taught Deuteronomy 6:4-9, showing these ladies what their spiritual legacy is, then creating plans for how we could live out those legacies.
After that retreat, God challenged me to live out my legacy in a way that would keep ME accountable. So I said a big YES to God, and a few weeks later, Lioness Legacy was born.
Why “Lioness”? It would take me having a lioness’s attitude of determination so that I could provide the best food for my “cubs”— God’s Word. If I could intentionally talk faith with my family, perhaps it would help other mamas want to do the same.
Using my 20 years of teaching knowledge and experience, I created Faith TALKs—easy, short talks that engage kiddos with a question to get them talking, a Bible point to anchor our discussion, and a memory verse for the week. The most important part of our talk is the accountability portion, where I included ways we could hold each other accountable to live out the truth of that talk.
So on January 1st, 2017, I made a video about Lioness Legacy and posted it on Facebook, hoping a few women would join me. God was gracious and gave me more than a few, and today, Lioness Legacy is a thriving group where mamas are equipped and empowered to share faith.
Our goal is simple yet powerful: Growing our children’s roots of faith so that one day, they too become Christ followers and pass on that legacy of love and faith to the next generation . . .
With the relentlessness of a lion but the tender touch of a lioness.
Copyright © 2021 by Amber Spencer @lionesslegacymama. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org.