As a parent, I have this picture in my mind of what I want my home to look like. I want my children to love each other and be helpful and encouraging. I want there to be a constant attitude of selflessness among our family members. I want my children to complete chores and obey family rules joyfully and without complaining. I want my children to be honest in their words & actions. I want them to love God and cheerfully serve in the church. And I would love for this to be achieved with minimal effort on my part.
Realistically I know that raising children with character requires me to be intentional in my parenting. It also requires lots of time and energy to train them in God's ways. It's a 24/7 job without any vacation days. It's easy to focus on changing outward behavior with rules and consequences. But at what cost?
When I focus on the external actions, I'm missing the foundational issue of parenting. I may be able to quickly deal with an issue for that moment but if I don't reach the heart then the peacefulness is short-lived. I've been challenged the past few days to examine my focus.
On May 1st I began a prayer challenge called 21 Days of Prayer for Sons. Right from the first day's devotional I realized that I have spent too much time on the outward actions and not enough time trying to reach the hearts of my sons. Praise God it's never too late to go to war for the hearts of my sons. I don't want my sons to be like the sons of Eli. 1 Samuel 2:12 says they were "worthless men, they did not know the Lord". That is not what I want for my sons.
I want my sons to "honor God with their hearts, not just their lips" (Isa. 29:13). I want their heart cry to be "not my will but Your's be done." (Luke 22:42) When my sons hear the Word of the Lord, I want it to cut straight to their hearts. (Acts 2:37) When my sons have a heart for God, then they will obey His commands with joy. (John 14:15, Romans 16:19) They will submit to the Lord.
My prayer as I continue through this challenge is that I will be open to what God is teaching me about my job as a parent. Always being mindful that only He can change their hearts.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.