In last week’s lesson on parenting, we saw that the second step you must take in order to influence the children in your life for the Lord is to commit yourself to praying for them. God will answer your fervent prayers by working miracles in the lives of those kids!
But sometimes you have a role to play as well. Sometimes God uses your words and/or actions to bring about that change. How are you supposed to know what words to say, what actions to do?
I mean, should you punish your child for what he did? If so, how? When? In what frame of mind? Or should you ignore it altogether?
These are major decisions!
And parenting brings about many more major decisions as well. You have to decide what school to send your child to, or whether or not to consider homeschooling. You need to decide what Sunday School program they should attend, what children to allow them to play with, etc.
And what about the little, everyday things you are required to decide? Should you allow your kids to eat between meals? What kind of a diet will you encourage them to eat at home? Should you establish a bedtime routines, and what time should bedtime be? Do you adapt a strict schedule and stick to it? Should you have family worship? Should they be allowed to go to the neighbor’s birthday party? Should you sign them up for soccer or dance? What are you going to feed them for lunch?
These lists are seemingly endless, and I believe that most of you really want to make the right decisions. Many of you do all the right things too: You read the Bible and follow its instructions, you go to parenting groups, you follow the advice of pastors and teachers, etc.
But situations that have NEVER been addressed in your Bible or by your parenting group will ALWAYS arise. Then what?
I don’t know how many times I’ve said, “If only I had the Wisdom of Solomon!”
I have good news for you, friends! You CAN have the Wisdom of Solomon! All you have to do is go to the Source of Solomon’s Wisdom: God! All you have to do is ask Him for the wisdom to know what to do. Remember James’ advice? “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5 NIV)
And God will give you that wisdom through His Spirit: “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26-27 NIV)
In other words, in order to be effectively influencing those kids, we need to be personally tapped into the Source! We need to have a relationship with God. We need to have gotten into the habit of relying on God for everything.
There is just one stipulation in the promise of God given to us in James 1: “But when he asks [for wisdom], he MUST BELIEVE and NOT doubt . . .” (James 1:6 NIV)
In other words, God WILL give us the wisdom we ask for, but ONLY IF WE BELIEVE.
And why not believe? The Bible is full of promises regarding God’s faithfulness. Here are just a few:
“Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ASK anything according to His will, He HEARS us. And if WE KNOW that He hears whatever we ask, WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE WHAT WE HAVE ASKED HIM FOR.” (1 John 5:14 HCSB)
“WHATEVER you ask the Father in My name, He WILL GIVE you.” (John 15:16 HCSB)
“I assure you: ANYTHING YOU ASK the Father in My name, HE WILL GIVE YOU.” (John 16:23a HCSB)
There is just one more step: Not only must you believe that He will give you that wisdom, but you must not reject what you hear Him telling you! So many times I hear God’s answer, but I’m sure I’ve heard wrong. After all, I don’t see any harm in that youth party. Why would God say no to let them go? But God can’t help us unless we trust Him to know what is best for our children! Unless we follow His advice!
So what do you do when faced with one of a million decisions? You don’t just say, “Oh, it’s a simple thing, I can handle it without God”. No, you ask God for wisdom, you believe that He will give it to you, and then you do what His still small voice whispers in your mind. Remember, wisdom is imparted to those who truly believe that what God says IS wisdom!
God bless each of you abundantly as you seek to guide the kids in your life in the ways of the Lord!
(To access the entire “Bringing up Kids God’s Way” devotional series, please click here.)