Some moments are big, but you’re too busy to notice them. Big events get overlooked or under-noticed when you have multiple kids.
Like getting engaged on top of a silo, graduating from middle school, going to the mission field or getting baptized.
These are recent milestones for our family. Two of them are happening today.
Today my middle-middle is getting baptized. He turned eighteen last week–another big that got swallowed up in the revolving door of comings and goings.
Because life is just this way.
Writing a book on Balance, Busyness and Not Doing It All doesn’t prevent big life events happening on the same day. But it does force you to stop. Acknowledge. And give thanks–for the moments when you see your kids choosing God, making him personal, and living authentically in relationship with Him.
Friday, I spoke to parents on raising authentic, godly kids in a godless world. Here are just six truths for raising kids who live in relationship with Jesus.
1. Kids absorb your priorities. There’s a country song which says, “I wanna do everything you do, so I’ve been watching you.” It’s true. You can teach your kids lots of things, but they pick up what’s lived out in front of them the most. How you respond to the gas station clerk, how you talk about their coach, and whether God is personal to you–kids get it. Your kids watch you when no one else is looking.
When I asked Baptism Boy for advice he’d give parents on raising Christian kids today, he said, “Uh, I don’t know. You guys just do it. You live what you expect us to. You do life well.”
I guess he’s seen something.
2. Praying for your kids is crucial. It’s tempting use prayer as an emergency intervention rather than the go-to for parenting. When you’re desperate for real answers to your child’s problems, prayer seems more lofty than practical. How can God help you respond to your son’s ADHD, your daughter’s friendship crisis, or how to handle the call from the principal?
After trying everything else when our family was in crisis, I started asking God for His perspective when things seemed hopeless. I continue to do so.
He answers every single time.
What does this look like? It’s when the Holy Spirit brings a different perspective to the situation. He gives you different solutions when you’ve run out of troubleshooting options, or when your emotions, insecurities, and fears drive you to respond in the flesh.
In her recent simulcast, Beth Moore said “Hell is coming for your family” as she urged women to pray. I affirm this. Hell came for our family and ripped us to shreds. I’ve lived those moments when there seemed no way out–except for bringing every moment and emotion to the Lord through prayer.
His responses are real.
3. Praying with your kids is crucial. Nothing changed the spiritual battle more in our home than when my husband and I began praying with our kids, out loud–both individually and corporately. Now, it’s common for us. When you pray with your kids about struggles in their lives, it gives them strength. It models the intimacy, expectancy, and dependency of a relationship with the Living God.
Praying for each other provides a bond like nothing else between your kids. We routinely do this during our family worship times mentioned in the “Balance” book. We also do this when kids are struggling with something big, when they need strength or protection, like leaving for the mission field or experiencing adversity.
We stand in a circle, hold hands, and have even the youngest kids pray.
We’re that weird family who does this.
But through family prayer, we’ve seen the Holy Spirit break spiritual oppression, time and time again. We’re just an ordinary family who acknowledges our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).
And it’s changed us.
It can change your family, too.
I’ll share three more tips in the next post on raising godly kids. In the meantime, how can I pray for you? What things do you struggle with in taking your worries and fears to the Lord? Are you convicted about things you need to change so you kids see the values you’re teaching? Take them to the Lord. He loves you.
And I’d love for you to share them here. You’re not alone. How can we pray for you?
Father, thank you for being so intimately involved in our lives. We love you. Help us to bring everything to you in prayer, all the time. Starting now. Thank you.