How to Protect Your Children
God's love for us is indescribable. The only way I've been able to remotely understand it is knowing how much I love my children and grand babies. I certainly don't love like God does. But being a parent and grandparent helps me understand His unconditional love for me. At the top of my notes from Sunday's sermon, I wrote "the greatest protection we can give our children is prayer." What parent isn't driven to protect our children? Even when they are adults? It just comes natural. We're bent toward it. When they were born, we too had a birth of sorts inside our hearts. It was as if we saw through a brand new pair of lenses. As if a cloud were lifted from our eyes. As if the focus was suddenly clear. This sort of birth in our hearts is one that can't be explained. And then there's one when the grand babies are born too that is even more eye opening. With these heart births comes our desire for our children and grand children to be successful. What does true success look like you ask?
she was listening, recording & ultimately imitating.
So, springing from my notes that I took during Sunday's sermon, let's jump in and chat about it. Starting with this - we are examples to our children. Do you realize your children imitate you? Whether we want them to or not, they do. I have a story about just that. One day, when my oldest daughter was around 8 years old, we were in the car running some errands. When suddenly, she pipes up a little bit of "road rage" directed at another driver. I was stunned! She was imitating me. Mind you, I hadn't even said anything at this point. I was just mindlessly driving along. All those other times I spewed anger at another person's driving habits...she was listening, recording & ultimately imitating. What an eye opener that was for me on that day. Unfortunately, that day's incident didn't cause me to become the perfect parent. It did, however, change my way of thinking. I was keenly aware of being imitated. Oh, yes they'd imitated me multiple times before this day. But this day was an in-my-face-attention-getting-punch-in-the-gut kind of experience.
Now back to the question I asked a bit ago. What does true success look like? I'd say that true success is having wisdom. The beginning of wisdom is fearing God, right?
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10
And to man He said, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding. Job 28:28
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever. Psalm 111:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
How do we do this? How do we give wisdom to our children and grand children? What kind of example should we be? If praying for them is the best protection. What about praying with them? Do you talk to Jesus with them? Do you get to hear them talk to Jesus?
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
A sweet child's thankful heart and pure trust in what He thinks is best.
I don't get as many opportunities to pray with my children like I use to. In fact, I'm sure I've missed some opportunities too. I do so enjoy hearing them talk to Jesus. One of my favorite prayers said by one of our children has stuck with me since that day. It was before a meal. We used to have this fun thing we did when we all gathered around the table. Whoever was the last one to put their thumbs up was elected to say the prayer. Even as most of them are adults and on the rare occasion we're together, thumbs will start to go up around the table. On this day our youngest was elected to say the meal's blessing. I don't remember the whole prayer, but I do remember the most precious line of that prayer. A sweet child's thankful heart and pure trust in what He thinks is best. It went like this, "Thank you Jesus, for the rain, because you must think we need it." Yes, yes indeed. Thank you, Jesus!
As I was writing this I had no idea that a child of ours was receiving some news that would change her plans or at least delay them. It was crushing to her. As she processed the news through tears over the phone with me, I was handed (as if on a silver platter) the opportunity to pray with her...I'm so glad I didn't ignore it. I was given the chance to encourage her. As her momma, to be the example I've been called to be in her life.
Thank you Jesus, for the rain, because you must think we need it!