We need to pray for our children. For many years, my wife has prayed a prayer from scripture for our three sons. Here are some ideas for you to try:
* Pray that they will increase in the knowledge of God. Most parents’ greatest hope for their children is that they will be happy, but a fulfilled life comes from knowing God. Without God, there is a nagging emptiness. Lots of people know about God, but knowing Him personally is different. We all know a lot about our nation’s president but only a few know him personally.
* Pray that they live a worthy life. Pray that their lives have an impact for good, and that they will be people of trustworthy character.
* Pray that they’re strengthened in God’s power. The world and evil influences will seek to pull our children down. They need God’s power to be strong, resist temptation, and do the right thing.
* And, thank God for each child. They are unique creations of God.
We all need to pray for our children. I hope these thoughts help.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, (Colossians 1:9 ESV)
Our response to painful situations in life demonstrates the level of trust we have in God. This is true in our lives and the lives of our kids. God has told us many times that He allows trials to perfect us and make us more like His Son. Trials are not to be dodged or avoided as much as they are to be endured for the sake of the lesson.
Asking God the right question in the middle of a trial is an expression of your trust in Him. The question should not be, “How am I going to get out of this?”, but rather, “What am I going to get out of this?” By changing “how” to “what”, you illustrate your dependence on Him to teach you and your willingness to learn.
Teach your kids to substitute an attitude of “what can I learn?” for “how can I escape?” when they face trials.
We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose.
In times of struggle, we often seek a counselor — a trusted friend or a confidant to talk with about our troubles or from whom we seek guidance and direction. The disciples saw Jesus as their counselor, and were worried when He said He was leaving them. It was then that Jesus promised the ultimate Counselor — the Holy Spirit.
Like the disciples, we are given a Counselor to teach and remind us what Jesus taught (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is available 24/7 and is absolutely free because Jesus paid His “fee”. He gives us the ability to understand our issues from Christ’s perspective and He exposes the false promises of the world. He offers us “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:10-16).
Do you take advantage of the best counselor in heaven or earth? He is available to you when you trust Christ for your salvation.
But I tell you I am going to do what is best for you. This is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you.The Spirit will come and show the people of this world the truth about sin and God’s justice and the judgment.John 16:7-8
Traffic, gas prices, long lines, screaming children, demanding bosses. Each day offers lots of opportunities to gripe, complain and argue. Do you take the bait?
Most times we respond to these situations poorly and without thinking, but consider the fact that these can be opportunities to demonstrate our trust in a powerful, loving God. When we approach trials from God’s eternal perspective, they can become opportunities to show our kids that satisfaction and peace are not based on the world’s response to us, but rather our response to the world. Show them you are willing to accept inconveniences without complaining or arguing and make the best of each day regardless. This attitude is a “light” to your children.
Let’s stop complaining and arguing, and show our children we trust in God’s plan.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Then you will be the pure and innocent children of God. You live among people who are crooked and evil, but you must not do anything they can say is wrong. Try to shine as lights among the people of this world.
This passage referred to the responsibility of leaders to study and rely upon the law of God as they governed. It kept them humble, centered on God, and guided their decisions so they would not stray from His path. Of course, this wasn’t easy and the Israelite leaders failed many times. When they strayed, God faithfully delivered consequences for their failures.
God’s advice for leaders hasn’t changed! As the leader of your family, recognize your need to learn from God’s Word. When we sacrifice personal study and meditation, we tend to lose our godly focus quickly, both for ourselves and for our family as well. Are consequences far behind?
Part of being a good leader is turning to your Leader for guidance every day.
Each day the king must read and obey these laws, so that he will learn to worship the Lord with fear and trembling and not think that he’s better than everyone else.If the king completely obeys the Lord’s commands, he and his descendants will rule Israel for many years.Deuteronomy 17:19-20
The Greek word for workmanship is poiema, from which we get our word “poem”. It is used also in Romans 1:20 where Paul explains that God’s eternal power and divine nature can be seen in nature, His poiema. Paul tells us that all of creation contains works of incredible art created by God to demonstrate and reflect His glory, and that our kids are part of the art show!
If God was willing to put that kind of love and care into creating our children and preparing a path for them to follow “for good works”, doesn’t it make sense that we should work to find God’s path for our kids and surrender any path we may have dreamed up without Him?
God is the great artist and He is preparing a work far greater than any of us can see. It involves all of us. And we can participate by finding the role he created for each of us in His great design. Let’s resolve to stop trying to make our own primitive finger painting, and join the rest of God’s creation in His work.
Let’s surrender our independent plans and assume our role in the greatest work of art ever created!
God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. This is why he sent Christ to make us what we are.
Do you ever get caught up in gawking at the “lifestyles of the rich and famous”? The media offers us a front row seat to the excesses of the super rich. Their houses, cars, clothes, and hobbies are all paraded before us as examples of “success”. Hasn’t it always been true that “men praise you when you prosper”?
In light of the world’s preoccupation with achieving “the good life”, isn’t it ironic that anything with a price, no matter how extravagant or expensive, will have zero eternal value? Help your kids fight materialism by focusing on eternal significance. The most effective way to communicate this message is not with your words, but with your example. Take a moment and ask God to reveal any blind spots you might have in this area. Commit to making one change, no matter how small, that more effectively demonstrates what you truly value.
Teach your children not to confuse price with value.
Don’t let it bother youwhen others get richand live in luxury.Soon they will dieand all their wealthwill be left behind.We humans are praisedwhen we do well,and all of us are gladto be alive.But we each will go downto our ancestors,never again to seethe light of day.Psalms 49:16-19
Little children are so used to having everything automatically provided for them–clothing, food, shelter, transportation–that trust comes naturally to them. This makes it easier for them to believe in Jesus too. They simply know that Jesus loves them. They simply trust that Jesus will help them.
As we grow older, however, and grow more self-sufficient and self-reliant, we lose the faith that everything we need will be provided. Adults know that they have to work for everything they get. The problem comes when adults get confused and start to think maybe they have to work for God’s love and earn his blessings.
Grown-ups may think if they act better, swear less, drink less, or give more, they might earn a better place in heaven. Perhaps the “achievers” come to think that they are better than other people and deserve everything they plan to get from God. Or worse–perhaps they fear that because they have made so many messes they have forfeited God’s favor.
Let Jesus whisper this in your ear. Ready? “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).
This kind of “second childhood” isn’t senility. It’s reality; it’s a very happy state of mind to live in.
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn andbecome like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
You’ve heard of dual citizenship, in which a person actually carries two passports? Did you know that you hold dual family membership?
The Bible says that your baptism actually represents a moment in which God the Father publicly claimed you and accepted a lifelong obligation to do for you what good fathers do for children they love. I guess that makes your baptismal certificate your adoption papers: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:26,27).
This is great news, especially for people whose own earthly families are missing some pieces. If your biological father was missing in your life or is deceased, you are not fatherless anymore. If you are an only child, guess what? Your adopted family is huge, and you’re connected to them all. If you are single and longing for a feeling of belonging and connection, Christ your Savior loves to compare himself to a bridegroom. You’re engaged! The wedding feast is coming soon.
God is proud publicly to call you his daughter or his son. May I invite you to be just as proud to call him your Father?”
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ haveput on Christ.
I think most of us underestimate our own selfishness. It’s so much easier to see it in other people, and I know I’m not always paying attention when people (family included) send me hints about my own.
Teenagers especially struggle with this. They are naturally pushing away from their parents. They are trying on masks to figure out who they are. They are trying to be their own person and not just get sucked into their parents’ identity. They crave independence. Their youthful energy makes their parents seem like old fools and their younger siblings like embarrassing baggage.
All of us are born with an attitude of “What’s in it for me?” and “What are you going to do for me?” Cain’s angry shout to God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is still our native language. God has a better way: “Serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:13,14).
Our Servant-Savior, Jesus, provides both the healing forgiveness we all need as well as a role model to help those who feel themselves drifting away from their families. Realize that you are not quite as smart and slick as you think you are, nor are the other members of your family quite as dumb as you think they are. Your family is God’s gift; it is your team. Love your team.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ”You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
I love saying “Father, forgive me” because he always answers that prayer right away. There is no bottom, no end, no limit to Jesus’ forgiveness.
But then comes the hard part–“as we forgive those who sin against us.” God says he wants me to be equally as generous in forgiving other people. “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:12,13).
If you’ve read this far, you’ve heard me encourage you to appreciate all that your parents have done for you. But let’s get real–they have hurt you too. They are sinners and have sinned against you. Millions of Americans have grown up in homes with parents who are alcoholics, who have sexually abused or permitted the sexual abuse of their own children, or whose adultery and betrayal broke up the household. What hurts do you still carry with you? Where do you go with that anger?
The past cannot be changed. What can be changed is how you choose to remember it. As the Lord has helped you by forgiving your sins, he can help you also to let go of your anger so it will not punish, torment, poison, or imprison you any longer. Let it go.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
If you surveyed one hundred teenagers about their parents, how many would respond, “My parents are precious, valuable people whom God has given to me for my good. I appreciate their guidance, life principles, correction, and rules”? Hah! Probably not too many. Sadly, parents are more likely seen as jailers or parole officers who arbitrarily limit children’s freedom.
The God I know, however, thinks parents are worthy of praise and wants you to think so too. (By the way, this is not just for little kids and teenagers; this is also for you in your 40s, 50s, and 60s.)
“Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 5:16).
This is not just the right thing to do so God won’t be angry with you and punish you. Honoring your parents triggers the release of a flood of benefit into your life. God has attached a double promise to parent-respecters:
–I will increase the quantity of your life.
–I will increase the quality of your life.
What does it mean to honor your parents? It means cultivating a spirit of gratitude, because they have done far more for you than you will ever know. Because they have made sacrifices you only partially understand to bring you benefit. If it is from them that you first heard about Jesus, it is they who gave you heaven.
“Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
You’ve seen what happens when a child has not learned to obey, haven’t you? “Sally, come here. Sally! I mean it, right now. Please, Sally, if you come here, I’ll take you to McDonald’s. All right, Toys ‘R’ Us too.”
It’s disgusting, isn’t it? When parents don’t teach their child that they will say something one time and expect it to be done, that child has learned, “I have power. You don’t mean what you say.”
A child who has never learned to obey his or her parents probably will never be a very good employee, and what’s worse, may never learn to obey God. How can children obey somebody they cannot see if they have not learned the basic concept of allowing themselves to be guided by their own parents? If they can’t learn to obey you, putting a plaque of the Ten Commandments in their bedrooms isn’t going to help them obey God.
That’s why teaching joyful obedience deserves our fullest, strongest attention. After commissioning his apostles to make disciples of all nations, Jesus added, “. . . teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” For their encouragement and strengthening he added, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Jesus came and said to them, ”All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
One of the more important commandments of God is to “Honor thy father and mother.” It is lived out in three phases of the parent-child relationship:
1. When a child is growing up in the home, he is called to obey. Parents have to teach their children to obey, and children honor their parents through obedience.
2. The second phase begins when the children become young adults. They aren’t as dependent on their parents and they are no longer called to obey, but to respect their parents. This is usually the longest phase.
3. The third phase of honoring parents is caring for them in their old age when they are no longer able to care for themselves. This is a tough transition when children become parents to their parents.
Obedience, respect, and care–the three stages of honoring Mom and Dad. The welfare of the family is dependent on us obeying God’s command.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12 ESV)