As a parent who has journeyed through the stages of parenting full circle, this is by far one area that I have not been diligent enough in – praying for my children to LOVE GOD.
As I learn to train myself in new habits, I certainly want to pass along how you can impact your children in the most powerful way.
Often times we feel that we have all the power or control in how our children turn out. I have learned the exact opposite. Our energy is better spent praying and releasing control to Jesus rather than getting uptight and overworked on managing behavior and freaking out.
Do not get me wrong – it is our job to train our children – however I have found in my years of parenting, both as a married couple and as a single parent, I have not been as diligent in my handing over my children to God and His control as I could have been.
It is clear when you read the verses in the Bible about raising children that not only are we to pray for our children and pray for their love of God, but we are to also set a good example to our children. We want them to see what a Godly life is like, why it is good, and how to accomplish living such a life.
The example that Jesus Christ gave us is clear.
Jesus lived a life without sin, and was punished for our sins, so that we might live. What better example is that about how we should strive to live and be for our own children?
When Christ was dying on the cross, He prayed for the people. Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” This is an example of how God would like us to pray for our own children. We can be in prayer that not only that our children grow to love God and appreciate His gift to us, but that they be forgiven for what they do not know. In addition, while we cannot be perfect like Jesus, we can strive to be like Jesus – living without sin as an example to our children.
When we falter, and we will, we can point out to our children that we are not perfect like Jesus was, but that we strive to be like Him. Jesus was love personified. He was full of love, slow to anger, compassionate, and gracious. This is what we, as parents, should strive to be like. I need constant forgiveness for my temper and lack of empathy with my children. I have received grace and one of the biggest life lessons my children can see is me asking them for forgiveness when I have sinned and become angry.
Love is easy when it comes to our children, but slow to anger is not as easy. But, that is how Jesus behaved and how we must strive to be, while praying that our children love God with all their might.
The thing is, if we set this example for our children there is no doubt that they will grow in love for Christ because they will see His true nature within your behavior and your actions. Your children are watching. When we can live out completely what we believe it is more impactful than any lecture, discussion, or consequence.