As my children get older I am beginning to realize that the life is always going to be hard for them. For some reason I had thought that maybe I could shelter them from the cruel world. That’s what I always wanted to do. But it doesn’t matter what I do they will always have something to overcome, whether it be lies that are being fed by those around them, or just tragic circumstances that are beyond our control.
I guess I could search for the “secret formula” that would guarantee my children will always live in a bubble. I used to think that secret formula included homeschooling my children. The fact is there is no easy answer to when it comes to educating our children, or teaching them how to deal with a world where everyone doesn’t have their best interest at heart.
Life is life, accidents happen, people are mean, and not everyone is a natural at taking standardized tests, or in my case MATH!
So I sit here an wonder what can I do to help encourage my children to go out into the world and be a light for Jesus? How can we defend ourselves against the fiery darts of the devil?
Here are three ways we can encourage our children to go out into the world:
1. The first thing we need to do is to ask ourself what it is we believe to be true about God, ourselves, our spouse, and our children. What we believe we will live. Sometimes we just need for someone to believe in us, and I think in the life of a child the person we need to believe in us the most is our parents. The thing is, when we don’t believe in ourself then we often relay that information onto our children. Our insecurities become their insecurities. This is why we need to know what we believe about God. We need to know His promises, and we need to know the truth about who we are in Christ. Through this we will be able to find strength and security to speak words encouragement to our children. Why is it so scary to speak words of encouragement to them? It’s because we may not believe those words to be true, whether it be about ourself or our children.
2. We need to make our home a sanctuary for our everyone that enters and who live in our homes, especially our children. The world can be discouraging, especially for our children. From bullies at school, to the insurmountable pressures that the world puts on them, to facing circumstances that they (nor we) can control, everyone needs to have a place where they can be refreshed to face another day. Sometimes it’s not always easy to create a peaceful environment, especially when our children might be the ones creating the type of environment we are working to eliminate in our homes. However, finding practical ways to nurture a place where they can go to find love, support, and encouragement can be something we intentionally do every single day.
3. We need to seek influence, not control. I don’t know about you, but as my children get older I am realizing that the only control I have over the choices that they make is completely reliant on how much influence they ALLOW me to have in their life. This is a scary thing for any parent, we want our children to make good choices, however that might not always be the case. Just because we don’t see our children making bad choices doesn’t mean that they aren’t, and the older they get the easier it is for them to hide what they are doing. My oldest daughter is going to be 18 years old very soon, and with that I need to believe AND pray that she will make good choices. But ultimately I have no control over the choices that she makes. I am thankful that she asks me for advice, and I am ready and willing to give it to her, but she also needs to learn how to make good choices when I am not around.
I always thought parenting would get easier as my children grew up, but I was so very wrong. We have the most control over our children while they are in the womb, but even then there are so many things we can’t control. As we move forward in making sure our hearts are relying on God and moving towards Him, I know that is what will help us to guide our children down the narrow road. We need to influence by example, what we ask our children to do we need to be willing to ourselves. Parenting is difficult, that’s why I am strong advocate to moms and want to encourage you all in the TRUTH!
We can’t do this alone, and praise God, we don’t have to!