Mom’s “Minute Devo” –Monday, February 25th
Paying for your Children…the Rest of the Story
When first learning how to parent, a job which will never end, nor my learning curve ever seem to change, I was greatly challenged by my super strong-willed first born son! After being an easy baby, he seemed to enter the “terrible twos,” which lasted from 12 months ‘til he was almost 7 years old! Literally. Meanwhile, our second child, a girl, was born about 17 months after my son, an event which he did NOT condone. I needed help! I was desperate!
Years before, about a year or two after saying “I do,” I joined a women’s Bible study led by Mercedes Peters (Susan Peters MIL) which I called “How to be a Good Wife” class, after much persuasion by Susan! I DID need that class and I attended faithfully for years. My husband and I were married nine years before our first born came on the scene, who soon, as mentioned, was followed by his little sister. One child is an accessory-dress ‘em up and take ‘em with you, right? But two changes things! Two car seats, two cribs, two pacifiers, two in diapers…two of everything except in pink & blue.
The good news was that Mercedes would lead a “How to be a Good Parent” class which I looked forward to weekly, if I could ever get there for the innumerable reasons preventing me from going-kids vomiting, kid needing stitches, kitchen explosion, husband late from work, toilet overflowing, water leak, gas leak, flat tire-you name it, it happened!! Yet I persevered! I was not to be thwarted from my weekly “Mom’s Night Out,” even if it was just to a women’s Bible Study & Prayer group where I hardly had the homework completed and often had breakdowns during class. Parenting, for me, was extremely challenging work. In fact, it was and still remains some of the hardest work I’ve had to do in my life…and I’m not done! Nor perhaps will ever be.
But God. HE IS FAITHFUL! Mercedes would quote Hebrews 12:11 saying, “No discipline for the present is pleasant, but painful and grievous; yet afterwards, it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness for those who have been trained by it.” She prayed that as we learned to discipline our children, bringing them up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord,” that both our children and we as moms would be trained by the Lord and our discipline! Believe me, as I’m sure you well know, it requires discipline to be trained and takes training to be disciplined. It is NOT EASY! Often, if something is worth doing, it demands determination, training, discipline, and more determination.
Praying for your children sometimes fits into this category: a discipline. I found out that it was not simply an easy task to spend time daily praying for my children & husband. Everything else took precedence! This was immediate, that was important, I had to see to those things and then would fall into bed exhausted, and start the cycle all over again the next day.
I finally learned to pray for my children WITH my children, not merely alone or while they napped. I had a list of scriptures I would read and pray with them from Mercedes ‘Parenting class’ (which I’m looking for to share with you). In fact, I often had my children copy down the scriptures I was praying for them and over them in their Bible journals, a little notebook with lines and a place for a picture. These notebooks are now keepsakes, especially for them.
The moral of the story- if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Whatever you do, do WITH your children! Spend your ‘quiet time’ with your children, pray with your children, sing and worship with your children, play with your children, do the laundry with your children…teach them to do it as you learn yourself. Trust God, He will show you how!
Finally, we ended a couple weeks ago with number 20 from Focus on the Family’s list. Here are the remaining prayers to pray for and with your children, for and with your husband, and for yourself:
21) CONTENTMENT-Father, teach my children “the secret of being content in any and every situation through Him who gives [them] strength.”
22) FAITH-I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children’s hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them. Luke 17:5-6, Hebrews 11:1-40
23) JOY-May my children be filled “with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6
24) A HEART FOR MISSIONS– Lord, please help my children to develop a heart for missions, a desire to see Your glory declared among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among all peoples. Psalm 96:3
25) A SERVANT HEART– Lord, please help my children develop servant hearts, that they may “serve wholeheartedly as if (they) were serving the Lord and not men.” Ephesians 6:7
26) A WILLINGNESS AND ABILITY TO WORK HARD-Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work hard at everything they do, “as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23 (I always told my children, “a hard worker is welcome wherever he goes!”)
27) PURITY– “Create in them a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within them,” and let their purity of heart be shown in their actions. Psalm 51:15 (This is a BIG ONE in this day and age!)
28) KINDNESS– Lord, may my children “always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15
29) COURAGE– May my children always “be strong and courageous” in their character and in their actions. Deuteronomy 31:6
30) SELF-DISCIPLINE-Father, I pray that my children may develop self-discipline, that they may acquire “a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.” Proverbs 1:3.
(From Focus on the Family magazine, February 2000, Vol. 24, No. 2)
Blessings on your week. Email with comments or prayer requests to [email protected].