When our kids question or don’t grasp a particular truth about the Lord, it can be easy to want to make them believe it.
The other day my daughter and I sat on the lake dock talking. She was grappling with forgiveness. I wanted to pull the words out of her, but I knew I couldn’t.
So, I shared Scripture with her and what the Lord tells us about it and left it at that. I wanted to keep going, keep talking about it, but I didn’t. I was bothered some, but she wanted to talk about something else, so we did.
The next few days I did one of the most powerful things we can do as parents for our kids. I prayed. I prayed for the Lord to speak to her heart and give her understanding.
The next night, when I was tucking her in, she brought that talk up. A talk that I didn’t think went very well, but to her, sitting on the dock and talking was one of her highlights.
She had come full circle and the Lord’s words had settled into her heart. She put His words into action and we prayed together.
I know we don’t always get to experience that. Whether we don’t or do, as parents, we are called to love our kids and to continue praying for them, to continue connecting with them, and trusting the Lord with the rest.
When we’ve spoken Truth to our kids, if we can give them space to grapple with and reflect on aspects of the Lord, without trying to force particular words from them, they’re more likely to stand stronger with the Lord – to not be swayed, because they came to an understanding after reflecting and pondering.
I wonder if that’s why Jesus asked so many questions in the gospels, many being reflective ones, like when he asked about 80 questions just in the book of Luke.
For example, in Luke 10, “An expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
I love Jesus’ response – he didn’t give an answer, but asked a question: “What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you read it?”
The man answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
That in-between place is hard. It’s hard to see our kids grapple with things and to wait.
But, that’s not all we can do. We can do one of the most powerful things available at our fingertips – pray for them, intercede for them, pour our hearts out to the Lord for them,
and then, Trust Him.
Our kids were the Lord’s before the beginning of time and they still are, so we can rest in that. His love for them is deeper than we could ever imagine.
Lord, As we parent our kids, help us in the in-between times. Give us wisdom to know when to speak and when to be silent. We pray the Holy Spirit would speak to our children’s hearts. Lord, show them Your Truth, Your ways, Your love and draw them to you. Thank you for the gift of our children. Help us to love them deeply and simply enjoy them today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19
Jesus, help us be like you.