“I can’t take one more ‘why’ question,” Lela lamented to Martin, her husband. Lela’s day had been fraught with frustration. She and the kids had been locked out of the house for an hour; a neighbor finally called Martin who let them back in.
Throughout the day, each time Lela had asked her daughter to clean up, to help her brother, or to eat her spaghetti, Marisa let out a whiney and sad, “Why?” The final straw was Marisa’s all-out tantrum.
“I’m drowning here!” Lela sobbed. Martin hugged his wife, assuring her they were “doing their best.” As the holidays crept closer, their devotional times with God had all but evaporated—too full of “busyness.” Feeling haggard, drained, and easily angered, they were both struggling to feel connected with the Lord.
Lela and Martin melted together and prayed, imploring Jesus’ help. Peace slowly settled over their hearts; they encouraged each other to keep going. God’s reminder that He was still in charge and that He would accompany them through every upcoming challenge, strengthened them both. They affirmed their need to reinstate personal time with the Lord, and to get more sleep!
Cultivate Your Spiritual Needs
Parenting is like tending a precious garden. To bloom and prosper, each child requires daily doses of sunshine and water. Parents need the same things—daily nurture, spiritual disciplines, and heart-habits that help them thrive—even during the daily stresses. Parenting requires God’s wisdom and strength.
As you stay connected to the Lord, you will establish priorities that build a strong Christian home. While cultivating your child’s garden, don’t neglect your own spiritual needs. Keep those ugly “weeds” away from your own garden.
Children rarely rise to a level of spiritual growth that exceeds their parents. Therefore, your first priority must be to become engaged in personal disciplines that draw you closer to Christ. If you keep growing, your child will, too. If you stagnate or plateau, it is all too likely that your child will do so as well.
God gladly supplies His incredible P-O-W-E-R as He directs your steps as a parent. (See Isaiah 40:31; Acts 1:8; and Galatians 2:20.) The Holy Spirit wants to guide every step of your journey (Jeremiah 29:11; John 16:13; Romans 8:28). As you practice these five disciplines, the Lord will live His life in you and through you!
Pray from Your Heart—Prayer is talking openly with God. He eagerly responds to your requests! (2 Chronicles 7:14; John 15:7; 1 John 5:14-15)
Obey Your Loving Shepherd—God is your Shepherd and your Lord. Things always go better when He’s in charge. (John 10:27-28; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:23-24)
Worship with Your Church—The Church is your Christian family. Unwrap your spiritual gifts to help you worship God and serve the Church. (John 4:23-24; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Peter 4:10)
Explain Your Faith to Others—Everyone needs to hear about God’s love and forgiveness. Share your faith with those around you. (John 3:16, John 14:6; Acts 1:8)
Read Your Bible Daily—The Bible came from God. He speaks to you on every page. (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Action Step: Parents who embrace the responsibility to raise godly children must assess their own spiritual condition. First and foremost, Jesus Christ calls you to follow Him. Walking in Jesus’ steps and being His disciple is the Christian’s highest privilege and priority. Embrace God’s invitation to walk with Him every moment of every day!