Recently, I went to kiss Vivi goodnight and started praying for her. She’d been particularly disrespectful so I was laying hands on that child praying for Lord to reign down some goodness and transform her. But it was like I stopped dead in my tracks and just thought, “change my heart so that the shepherding that happens as a result of a changed momma will change her.” In that instant, I felt like the answer wasn’t some wam bam transformation, but God using me and refining me to play a part in the process.
As adults, the behavior of our kids can seem so…elementary. The answer so obvious. Vivi just needs to toughen up and stop complaining. Vana needs to learn compassion. I can pray all day long for these things but if I’m not acknowledging how my behavior can shift them, I’m forgetting one of the most basic of spiritual truths. And here it is:
God picked you specifically to steward your kids. Any momma can pray, “Lord change my kid” but YOU are the one He put in your child’s life to lead by example and train up. YOU are the answer to that prayer more times than you realize.
When I remember that, I can’t help but tear up. It squashes this idea that I’m just here to make sure my kids survive. We joke about it, but I think those jokes can seep in and we feel really proud of our self if no one ends up in the ER by bedtime. This strokes our ego and takes away some unnecessary guilt BUT it also numbs us to the POSSIBILITIES of parenting.
Imagine two scenarios:
ONE – Your job is to sit in a room and make sure a dog survives for a week. No need to teach them anything. Just keep ’em alive.
TWO – Your job is to sit in a room and teach a child the alphabet/to count/to memorize a verse/manners/etc. In one week’s time, that child should have grown in some way.
There’s something invigorating about a mission more than just a (quite literal) pet project.
I want to challenge us mommas to really go beyond hail mary prayers that our kids will change. Make no mistake, a praying momma is one of the greatest assets a kid can have, but let’s not forget to not pray in a vacuum for our kids. How do we play a role in our kid’s transformation? And what should we pray about in light of that? God wants to use you and when He does, your child is changed, you are changed and anyone with a front row seat can be changed too.
If you are feeling exhausted and like the hail mary prayers aren’t reaching the ceiling, take 15-20 minutes to pray intentionally for your kids, which sometimes involves not praying for your kids but praying for how God can use you!
Some questions to think about:
1. What are you praying for right now for your child?
2. Does it need to be reversed in some way? Do you need to pray for the Lord to grow a quality in you so you can be the hands and feet of how God answers that prayer?
3. What is something you can do to help practically foster that change?
4. How can you allow God to use you in the process?
5. How can God transform you so that you can be used in your child’s transformation?
And if you need some just really practical help to be intentional with your family, we’ve got two things coming for you.
FAMILY CREED – This is a tool I created to help you simplify intentional parenting by guiding you to work through the rhythms and routines of your home. It has sections on family values, traditions and discipline, and we hope that it will equip you to truly enjoy this season and be something that you can refer back to from year to year. We have discontinued the physical version, but it will be released as a PDF with our new collection launching Sept. 5. Sign up here to be notified when it’s available!
GRUMPY MOM TAKES A HOLIDAY – I’ve got my first book with Tyndale coming out April 2019. It’s all about retraining our thoughts so that we can live out motherhood with joy. We have challenges every day that can result in a grumpy rest of the day and ruined opportunities for those kids we long to be intentional or we can turn things around in a moment and keep walking in joy. Sign up below if you’d like to be notified about book news (like the cover reveal, launch team, bonuses and more)!
COMING NEXT: What to pray as you parent