Sometimes it’s unbelievable that God would choose me to be watch over my children. The fact that He would trust me, a sinful person, with the souls of these amazing future ministers is quite humbling. It keeps me on my knees. It causes me to boldly come before the throne of grace seeking His face, seeking wisdom, seeking guidance.
I mean really- have you ever just observed your children? Have you ever watched them go about their day? Observation has proven to be a great tool in praying for my children. Sure, you can try the blanket approach, “Lord, cover my children….” However, I believe God is calling us to be intentional with our children. I believe God is calling us to expose those things we see in their hearts.
How can we know what’s in their hearts?
Simple. The Bible says that out of the abundance of what is in the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34).
Watch how they interact with others. Watch the words that come out of their mouths when they are angry or hurt. Watch how they answer you, the parent. Or watch how they handle conflict with their siblings.
Observation will tell you a lot about the condition of your child’s heart.
In mere observation, I have been able to call out rebellion, pride, disobedience, selfishness, and the like. I have been able to present these things to the Lord. Sure, there’s a time for warfare in prayer. But then there’s a time to listen. To hear and receive direction from God.
A simple prayer is suffice, “Lord, I’ve notice Lem has been quarrelling with her brother lately. And it seems to be getting worse every day. Give me patience and wisdom that I may teach her what your word says about loving your brother and sister.”
Ask Him to show you how to teach your child and lead them according to His word. And don’t forget… if you’re going to lead them in God’s word, then you must take time to read it. You can’t expect to teach your children something you don’t know.
You may see the effects of sinful behavior, but God knows exactly what is triggering this in your child. He is faithful and He will lead you, as the parent, to lead them.
So begin to search the scriptures for verses pertaining the specific condition. Then begin to take them to the word. Teach them Bible stories of men and women whose disobedience caused major consequences. Don’t forget to teach them that the opposite is true also. Guide them through the stories of men and women whose obedience to God caused God’s favor to be upon their lives.
Pick Character Trait To Focus On
Okay so the first character trait I’m going to address with my daughter will be DISOBEDIENCE. Although we’ve learned about this before. I notice that I need to focus in on this because if she doesn’t learn to obey authority, she will have a very difficult time obeying God. Also, the Bible promises that if they obey, things will go well with them. And that’s what we want.
Find Scripture Pertaining Topic
Find scripture pertaining the topic at hand and have your kids memorize them. Show them what God says about disobedience. Show them why it’s important to follow God’s word.
Exodus 20:12, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
Psalm 119: 9, “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.”
Proverbs 1:8-9, “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head and chains about your neck.”
Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, or this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with you and you may live long on earth.”
Teach Them The Stories
For disobedience you can look at the lives of the Adam and Eve, Cain, the Israelites, Samson, Jonah, (there are so many examples to pick from).
Then look at the lives of those who were obedient; such as Joseph, Daniel, Caleb, Moses, etc.
Pray With Them, Be Consistent
Don’t forget to pray with them, pray for them, and be consistent. As a parent, you won’t deal with the issue just once. You will see repetition. Be ready to consistently take your child back to the word. As you do, you will find that God begins to work in their hearts.
In the same way that observing your children brought you to your knees asking God for help, observing them as the Lord works in their hearts will also bring you to your knees…. this time though, in thanksgiving and gratitude for what only He is able to do!
Check out Focus On The Families, Kids Of Integrity lessons. It’s a great place to start with so many resources for the parents.