Since we still feel like we are kinda new at this whole parenting thing, any chance we get to talk with parents who seem to have done it *right* are parents we WANT to talk with.
A few weeks back at teen camp we discovered that the camp speaker (a preacher from Colorado) had raised 4 children now adults and all love the Lord and are serving Him. Something that seems rare to find these days. It seems that many teens who turn 18 desire to never darken the door of a church again and only make the Lord a tiny part of their life if any part at all.
That scares us.
At the same time, we know we don’t know it all when it comes to parenting and we try to not ask our peers about parenting advice because, well, they are in the trenches as well! It is much wiser to seek counsel from those who have raised their children and they are living right.
So when we found out about this Pastor’s children living for the Lord we felt like we wanted to grasp onto of all of his advice! The Pastor told us that when he was our age with young children he did the same thing, asking advice of parents who had already raised their children.
He said without a doubt parents with whom he spoke said, “If I could do it all over again, I would spend more time with my family.” The Pastor then looked at my husband and said, “No matter how busy you get, ALWAYS make sure your family comes before your work. Take vacations throughout the year. Go away for a day or two at a time. Go on dates with your wife. Make sure you are home for dinner at least 3 times a week and go to all of their sporting/music activities.”
We know that in and of ourselves we cannot raise these children to love the Lord, we need the LORDS help to do that! I remember speaking with a dear sweet lady two years back and she said, “We parent how the Bible tells us to and then we pray that the Lord would make up the difference where we fail or lack in our parenting.” Because of those words, I find myself praying the very same thing for my own family. I fail SO. MUCH. it seems, and yet the Lord is so good and I know He can make up the difference where I fail.
I think one huge key to raising children who love the Lord is to spend MUCH time in prayer. We are in a spiritual warfare for these little ones hearts. They know when we are being real or a hypocrite, they know when we have messed up and should apologize but don’t. They know when our patience is lacking and how unkind words can creep out and yet we tell them “Be kind!”
When I pray for my children I ask the Lord first of all to save the soul of my little guy at a young age. I praise the Lord for answered prayer with our daughter asking the Lord to be her Savior. I ask the Lord to help our children to always love the Lord with everything that is in them and that they would never desire to rebel. In the wicked world that we live in I also pray that the Lord would blind the eyes of those who would want to do harm to my children/family. Blind their eyes so much that they wouldn’t even see my children/family.
Prayer is such a huge key in raising a family to love the Lord. Oh there are so many more things I would love to share, but don’t have the time to right now. I’ll have to finish up this post another time, but keep encouraged! If you are in the trenches of parenting right now, stay strong! Stay close to God’s Word and spend much time in prayer. God’s Word will not return void. If we are planting seeds in the hearts of our children the Lord will give the increase!