Do you have kids?
If so, I bet you had a moment or two where you said, “Help, I have kids.” It seems to be universal that at some point, all parents hit the wall and don’t know what to do. Have you been there? I know I have. Whether you have kids or not please keep reading, as I believe this will encourage you no matter where you’re at in life. This is because all of us either have seen our parents hit this wall or we have ourselves. These moments can bring out laughter and/or anguish. They can provide some great memories or some bad ones. Yet every parent goes through this and has a plethora of these in their history. But this is life and it’s a part of the process.
Being a parent is a joy and having parents is a joy, since either of these is not a guarantee.
Yet, these relationships can bring out the best and worst in us within minutes of each other. I’m sure we all have our stories. Have you noticed that parenting doesn’t come with a manual? We’re never fully prepared for this, which means we’re learning as we go and making mistakes along the way. This truth has helped me immensely, as I’ve had to take the pressure off being perfect because I’m not. You see, it’s through our imperfections and mistakes that we can grow closer to God, to our kids and toward their future. It’s in the vulnerabilities of our parenting that we can gain God’s strength as we navigate life, thus leading our kids to who Jesus wants them to be.
This is big because so much is coming at them.
I believe our kids are facing things we never did when we were growing up. At the touch of their fingers they can access evil, violence and lust. They’re targeted through bullying on social media and the pressure to be cool and to compare with others is at an all-time high. Then the expectations of extracurricular activities run havoc on schedules, weekends and weeknights. Sports are year around. Commitment levels are intense beginning at five or six years old and then the expectations can be out of balance, causing unneeded pressure in their lives. Please know, I love sports and my kids do them, yet I’m praying at what pace we proceed and what’s best for them. In fact many of these are great but they turn bad without boundaries. All of this speaks to the things trying to invade their hearts to distract and detour them from purpose. This is the battle we’re fighting for our kids because it’s all about their purpose! God has a plan for them and His best is in their future.
So, how do we help them discover God’s plan?
One of the greatest things we can do as parents is yield to God’s heart for our kids. Meaning, we seek to know and understand them through their abilities so they thrive in life. Many times we’re tempted to want our way which can be short sided and limited to what God has for them. Too often out of fear, insecurity, tradition and selfishness we push them to what we want when maybe that’s not what God wants for them. This is a challenge, which is why we must yield to Jesus as a parent and see our child through His eyes. When this happens, our kids can discover their gifting and excel in who they were made to be.
A great verse for this is Proverbs 22:6 –
“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”
This is a hallmark promise for our kids and it should be something we reach for as a mom or dad. The connotation of this verse means, lead or direct them onto the path for their life. Through God, we help them discover their niche in Christ and what they are gifted in. This is specific for them and through the Holy Spirit, we can do this as parents. But notice, this is another level of leadership. It’s more than providing food, shelter, clothes and stability. All of that is good but there’s more. It’s building a relationship with them. Knowing how God wired them and seeing where they excel so we lead them to places of success and growth. I believe too many kids are left to make decisions that don’t lead to purpose because their missing an active leader in their life. I believe one of these active leaders can be mom and dad. In fact, if at all possible, it must be their mom or dad.
This requires us to reach up to God as a leader in their lives. The good news is, we have the Holy Spirit and He will help us see what we can’t see and know what we don’t know. We depend on Him for our help as a parent; therefore, when we say, “Help, I have kids” He’s there! This is our hope as we seek to do our best for our kids.
So, what’s our next steps? I believe these three things go a long way toward leading our kids to their niche in Christ.
First, we pray over our kids. This is powerful and needed daily. But I’m not speaking of general prayers. I’m speaking of specific prayers that are formalized for them. If you see certain tendencies or behaviors, pray about them and ask God to replace the wrong actions with the right ones. For example, if they’re fearful pray they are brave and overcome it. If they’re angry pray peace over their emotions to defeat it. I do this daily, as I’ve written things out for each of my children that I pray over them. I call out the wrong tendency and pray the right one in its place. These are powerful prayers that are easy to celebrate when you see the change take place. Don’t stop praying no matter what you see. There’s power when you pray, especially when you don’t stop.
Second, have bible verses you speak over your kids. There is power in the word of God. My mom studied all of her kids and then studied the bible to find verses specifically for us. She then would quote them over us daily and it’s worked. Again, this is knowing our kids and then getting a promise from God to pray over them. It’s this accuracy that moves blockades and causes the promises of God to be real in them. It also releases angels to watch over them and to keep them according to his word. (See psalms 91:11). I encourage you to get a verse for your children. Let God direct you and remember, His word never fails!
Third, keep them connected to a healthy church. I see this attacked too far too often, as his agenda is to isolate so he can put wrong people in their lives. People unplug from church for all sorts of reasons but one the greatest mistakes parents make, is putting their offense onto their kids. This is devastating and can cause the root of faith to whither in their lives. Honestly, it’s selfish, yet it happens all the time and it shows up down the road. Whatever you do, keep your kids connected to a thriving church. Show them why we go to church and how to be a part of a church through your actions, since they will model what you show them. If you have teens, lead them to church. If they don’t want to go, lead them to go. I know it’s easier said than done but we can’t afford to pull the plug on church and we can’t afford to let them dictate if we go to church or not. Both of these are wrong and as the parent, you lead when it’s easy and when it’s not. We can’t allow phones, sports, friends and sin to be more important than God because one day, they’re going to hit the wall of life and they’ll need Him more than ever. This is why we invest faith in them, so when they’re older they’ll stay with God and or come back to Him.
You can do this! You have your kids for a reason and I believe in you.
When you say, “Help, I have kids” God knows what you need. He knows your pressure, your weariness, your pain and more. He knows what you feel and yet, He’s there with the answer for you. Please don’t let shame, embarrassment, loss, grief, loneliness and more to block your role as a mom or dad. You’re too important and God knows your name. He knows your kids name too, and He’s coming to your house today.
Your kids will thrive in the presence of the Lord (Psalms 102:27-28)!
I love you and believe in you.