My last blog generated the most interest I’ve ever had for one, so it sounds like parents everywhere are starving for wisdom on how to raise their kids. Once again, know that my wife and I are on this journey with you. I don’t write as an expert on this; rather, I’m writing as one who needs as much help as you do. With that said, one thing the Lord is teaching us in our house right now is the idea of faith-based parenting. In other words, as parents we need to trust more in the Lord, His Word, His power, and His Spirit than we do in our words and actions. We are learning that we must talk less, pray more, listen more, and interject with timely wisdom that comes from God to our children. With that said, here are some areas where we are learning to exercise faith in our parenting.
FAITH IN GOD’S WORD
In Isaiah 55:11 it says the Word of God never returns void. In Proverbs 22:6 Scripture says we must train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he won’t depart from it. The Word of God is living and active, it is the imperishable seed by which we are born again, and it is the God-breathed instruction of heaven. We must teach the Word of God in our homes, and not as a Sunday sermon but in daily life. Deuteronomy 6:7 says we must teach the law of God to our children as we walk by the way and when we sit down in our house. When do you teach God’s Word to your children? How is it incorporated in your weekly conversations as a family? There are irrevocable, unshakable promises concerning how God uses His Word. Parent, if you have been teaching the Word of God to your son or daughter for years now why would it not take root in his or her life? It really comes down to whether or not we have faith in God’s Holy Word. The truth is we share God’s commands often times more out of fear than faith. Fear based parenting throws out Scriptures to keep kids from going off the deep end. Faith based parenting intentional and systematically interjects the gospel into the daily rhythms of life knowing that over time God will use it in the life of the child. We must have faith in the Word of God and the Spirit of God to move our children to obey it.
FAITH IN PRAYER
Jesus said whatever we ask in His name believing we will receive (John 14:14). The Bible says the fervent prayer of a righteous man is effective in its working (James 5:16). We have great authority in prayer to bind the enemy and usher in the power of the Holy Spirit through the person and name of Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:19)! When we pray for our children in the name and the power of Jesus Christ stuff changes in their lives! Do you pray daily for your children by name? Proclaiming God’s promises in prayer is one of our most effective offensive weapons against the schemes of Satan and his demons. Bind the enemy in the name of Jesus toward your children and pray that they would be filled with the fullness of God growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. If you’re not praying for your children daily start today! Also, when you pray, trust and know that God hears and answers our prayers. Be patient and persistent in your prayers for your children. May we never forget that God can do more in a moment than we can do in a lifetime, and when you pray believe that God is working in and through your prayers. Why do we pray if we don’t believe He’s going to answer them in accordance with His perfect will? Have faith that your prayers are making an eternal difference in the lives of your children because they are!
FAITH IN YOUR CHILDREN
Proverbs 18:21 says the power of life and death are in the tongue. What we believe about our children and speak over their lives can become self-fulfilling prophecies that bury them in deep defeat the rest of their lives if we are not careful. If we are Christian parents who give the Word of God and pray for our children then why would we think the worst about them? Now, I’m not naïve. My children were born sinners and have flesh just like yours do. I know they do secretive things and act in ways that are not in keeping with God’s Word, but here’s the thing: they have to have enough space to make decisions that truly impact their lives and relationships now. The Lord gives us wisdom as to when we begin to give that relational and emotional space that is needed to make decisions and how much space to give before stepping in, but the point is they have to develop the decision making capacity to apply God’s Word to their own lives. Trust in God’s eternal plan for their lives. God’s plan for their lives is not for calamity but for welfare and hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Our children are fearfully and wonderfully made by God and He has something awesome in store for each one of them. Speak this over their lives! Tell them often that you can’t wait to see how God is going to use them in His Kingdom service as they get older. This puts seeds of the gospel and God’s mission in their hearts. Inspire your children, don’t discourage or depress them. We have learned that we must correct our children without belittling them. We don’t want to squash their spirit, we want to stimulate them to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24). Those personality traits and quirks they have are the fingerprints of God. He will use these special one of a kind qualities for His glory one day. Believe it….and speak it over their lives!
I hope this is helpful. It is a daily battle in our home to trust God in the midst of the struggle. We just keep coming back to the truth that God is forever faithful, His Word never returns void, He is always good, and He has something special for our children. When we set our mind on these truths it brings peace to those circumstances which can really stress us out and paralyze us with worry. Today, moms and dads, let’s trust in our everlasting God, the unchanging One, and know that He will work in His way and His time!