We parents do well when we reflect what God is like.
A dear friend shared the following, true experience.
I took Judah on my knee to comfort him, his scraped knee the center of attention.
“Do you want me to kiss it,” I asked.
“No,” he answered. “I want you to pray.”
If we put ourselves in this grandmother’s place, how would we respond? Of course, antiseptic spray comes in handy, and a time out helps to ease the pain. But would we have inwardly rejoiced that this child had sense enough to know that what he experienced with us – our loving concern – was proof that he had a Heavenly Parent Who loved him so much more?
That’s what godly parenting is all about – a human being reflecting what God is like. Sadly, we are just as likely to send false messages as we are to reflect the Father’s true character. Yes, in part, it’s because we received faulty parenting. Sometimes, it’s because we’ve lost the wonder of being God’s child. ‘Life happens’ and we get tired and frustrated.
If we want to institute, or strengthen, a biblical worldview to pass on to our kids, what are some best practices we can build into our family life? Let’s start with this idea. (I recommend doing this with the adults who are partnering with you.)
Make a list of ways to focus on a loving, Heavenly Father with your kids. I’ll get you started with a few items, but you can think of so many more.
- We’ve already mentioned prayer before meals and bedtime.
- Pray together about issues kids experience at school: stress over exams, large projects, bullying, challenges to witness to their faith in Jesus.
- Pray, rather than judge, when someone ‘collides’ with a neighbor or fellow employee or student, challenging them to display sermon-on-the-mount responses.
- Intercede together for family members/loved ones who travel regularly by air, or even more dangerous, on freeways.
- Share with God the anxiety we feel when we experience financial challenges.
How many items can you add to my list? What can you do with such a list?
- You can post it on your fridge and encourage everyone to think of something to add.
- You can use it as a springboard for discussion at family times.
- Encourage everyone to think of an example from your family’s ‘history’ that illustrates one of your points. Capture these in writing, or with drawings.
- Put together a family journal keeping track of things that demonstrate the presence of God in your family’s experience.
You get the idea. Hopefully, you’ll share with us some of the results.