Being FOR Our Kids

fullsizeoutput_78a2As our children face the hurdles of growing up, let’s be their safe place, their refuge, the ones that are FOR them, so they know we are in it with them.

When we hit the peak of frustration and want to pull our hair out (been there!), let’s show our kids we are ON THEIR TEAM and WANT them to succeed. Even though they might have let us down, let’s not retaliate in anger.

Instead, let’s WIN THEM OVER by being FOR them.

Not to say we shouldn’t discipline or follow-through – the opposite actually. But, when we give consequences, THERE IS POWER IN FILTERING OUR WORDS THROUGH LOVE AND THE BELIEF THAT “I AM FOR YOU”. (Lord, please grace us with this gift!).

Regardless of whether our kids show it, especially as they get older, they need us. They need us being FOR them. On their side. On their team.

In those painful moments they push us away or speak hurtful words, they might need some alone time to calm down, but they always need us pursuing them. Choosing them. Believing in them.

While we’ll need grace over and over, the more we practice speaking in love and not in anger, the more naturally it will come. While none of us will be perfect in this, every day is a chance to try again.

To try to show the ones God has given us, that we love them, adore them, and that we are FOR them.

“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ…” Ephesians 4:15

God’s Full Grace

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So many moments I feel like I’ve been anything but “beautiful hearted” with my kids. Can you relate? I strive for calmness, but many times, I do the opposite. I couldn’t do motherhood without God’s grace. I need it. Every day.
Whether our kids are fighting or not listening, it can be easy to lose our cool (my kids’ signature pouty faces are in the pictures!). I love Psalm 130:7 because it has Jesus’ grace written all over it: “… put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is FULL redemption.”
I don’t think “beautiful hearted” means getting it right every time, but rather to humbly ask for forgiveness from our children when we need to, not giving up, and continuing to seek Jesus. Do we show our kids humility by asking for forgiveness when we need to? Do we model what FULL redemption looks like by accepting His grace when we mess up? Or do we sulk in guilt and anxiety?
I pray Jesus would lead all of us to have calm and loving hearts with our kids, but that when we fall short, we could bask in his grace by moving forward in joy. Jesus, thank you that you offer us FULL redemption when we ask. Help us to fix our hope on you so our kids can experience more of you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Will Our Kids Be Easily Swayed or Be Confident?

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by Linsey Driskill

“How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God.” Jesus (John 5:44)

We all know our children will interact with all kinds of people: some wonderful, some harsh. I pray my daughters and son are confident so they know how to stand strong and not give into peer pressure. I want to equip them the best I can. Jesus always spoke truth to people and didn’t worry about man’s approval. He loved the outcasts, overturned tables in the temple, stayed focus on God’s will regardless of the harshness around him, and never wavered in his faith, confidence and purpose. In Luke 9:5, He said, “If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet…” Jesus simply didn’t care what others thought of Him. He was the greatest example of being humble, yet confident.

What will our kids do when others try to sway or intimidate them? Will they be brave and confident? Will they have boundaries?

~ Esther stood up to Hamaan, and saved the Jewish people;

~ Naomi urged Ruth to leave, but Ruth had the confidence to stay. From that one choice, Ruth married Boaz and Jesus came from their lineage;

~ David did not turn away from a bully intimidating him- he confidently proclaimed that he came in the Name of the Lord and overtook him;

~ Deborah defeated the evil Sisera because she chose not to run away from a scary, unknown situation, but to bravely trust God;

~ The crippled woman staggered to the front of the synagogue while Jesus preached, ignoring the critics and traditions… she was healed by Jesus;

~ Jesus’ disciples chose to follow Him, and they became bearers of the greatest Truth ever told.

~ And what about Mary being pregnant with Jesus when she was only engaged? Mary was fearful at first, but chose not to cave into the opinions of others. And, through Mary, our Savior Jesus came into the world.

Along with Mary being afraid, I assume the others had a similar fear, but they made a choice to trust God and be brave. Being brave doesn’t mean we won’t be afraid- it means walking forward in faith. Do we want fear or bravery to drive our kids’ choices? Do we want them to have courage to stand out from the crowd and to follow Jesus? If so, let’s instill the truth in our kids that our confidence comes from God, not others. Our kids will learn that their worth is not dictated by others’ opinions, but on the immense love Jesus has for each of them. A great verse to impress on the hearts of our kiddos: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.” Jeremiah 17:7

 

Connecting with Our Kids

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Jesus often used questions to teach answers and to bring people to an authentic relationship with him. He was also so personal with people by asking them questions- Jesus asked 80 questions just in the Bible book, Luke! By asking our kids questions, we teach them to do the same with others. It is also such a great way to get to know someone better… How often do we ask our own kids questions just to get to know them better, or to help them reflect on their own faith?

Here are some fun and serious question ideas: You could ask your kiddos ones like Jesus did in the verses above, or here’s an imaginative one: In the Bible, after Moses, Joshua continued leading the Israelite people to the promised land, which was a beautiful land promised to them by God and described as flowing with milk and honey. That sounds pretty great doesn’t it!? What would your dreamland be like?

I love learning what’s in our kids’ little minds when they share their simple and sweet answers about who Jesus is, and to watch their creativity come alive in describing their dreamland. Enjoy connecting and getting to know your kids even more this week!

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