I recently heard a message that has profoundly changed my life! We have all heard the saying " You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink." That is, unless you " Salt the oats!" What is it that you are doing to create thirst for your children? Thirst for their Savior? Thirst for knowledge, Thirst for service?
That little quote has begun to reshape how I look at parenting.
As homeschool parents... moms, ( speaking for myself) we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves. I know that I feel as though I am responsible for my children's academic well being, emotional well being, spiritual well being, and social well being.. and that carries quite a lot of weight! I feel the pressure to make every moment a teaching moment. Which can be a wonderful thing, however, the flip side of that is that I am not showing them much grace if I am always correcting them.
So how is it that we can create thirst in our children, while still directing their path, and growing them in the way they should go?
I think we first need to start with prayer! First, we need to be in prayer ourselves. We need to pray for our own heart, and then for the heart of our children. We need to bathe our relationship with our children in prayer. Seeking the Holy Spirit to help guide us as we seek to raise up children who will love, honor and serve Him! We should also be praying with our children. This simple action will do more for knitting your hearts together! I have heard it said, so many times, " A family that prays together, stays together". I will tell you, I have older children, we do not 'tuck' them in any longer. However, for the last several years, we pray together each night before bed, not in their bedroom, but in the living room. We affectionately call these, our prayer hugs. I have to tell you , we have done this with such consistency, that when I travel out of town we have our 'prayer hugs' over the phone. I have even had them call me from sleep overs, so we can have our prayer hugs while they are away. I am so thankful to have this tradition with my children. It is something that they can count on. They know that I am praying for them, and exactly how I am praying for them. They will also pray for me. I love to hear my children pray for me. It does this momma's heart good!
We also pray throughout our days.. we pray at meals, we pray during our devotional time.. and as needed throughout the day. And we take turns, everyone takes a turn, praying for the family. I must tell you, I can sense a sweeter spirit within my children when we are consistently living in a state of prayer.
In addition to this, while we are learning how to handle difficult situations that come our way, we go to the Lord in prayer together. When one of the children is having a specific struggle, we pray through it, and help them learn how to pray through it for themselves.
What I notice, is that not only do we see a softness in our children's spirit, but when you are faithful to pray, you will have a soft and tender spirit toward your children.. even on those days where nothing seems to be going how it should!
The by product of maintaining a consistent prayer life with your children, is that they will yearn to have that connection both with you, and with their Savior.
Life can be so very busy, and we can get caught up in all the to and fro with our families, but never let your family get too busy to pray! If you are too busy to pray then you are TOO BUSY!
Carve out time each day to pray with your children, let them pray for what is important to them. This, in turn, will give you a window into their heart that you otherwise would not see!
Each week, I hope to grow this topic. Looking at ways we can create thirst within our children. If you are doing something with your family to create thirst, and would like to write up a guest blog post, let me know in the comments, and we will feature your post in the upcoming weeks!
I am looking forward to learning with you and from you as we travel down this road together!
God Bless you and your family!!!