One of our recent topics during our Parenting Through The Phases class was consistency. Once you get into the groove of parenting and your routines become your life’s stability, getting off that routine = lose all control of any sanity, particularly for new parents. However, this also applies to those of with multiple children, involved in multiple extracurricular activities. I remember a time when Derrick and I would meet up at a local mom and pops gas station and legit switch all of the kids in our vehicles around and then dash off to opposite sides of town. It reminded me of that game you play at red lights when you are in high school or college(that you shouldn’t’ be playing) where you jump out of the car at a red light, run around the car, frantically trying to get back into the car before the light turns green. Yeah, my family at the mom and pops gas station, looking like someone kicked an ant hill. It happens though.
We always tried to have meals together, but during this period of time the consistency of this ritual was void. Then my mind chased the rabbit down the trail of, “Was there anything consistent during that period?” There was! We always went to church!
Probably one of the most important things parents can be consistent in is showing how important your faith is to you. Knowing what you believe about God truly in the deepest areas of your heart and comprehending why you feel this way, can change how you parent at the most basic levels of love and discipline. This brings God to the front and center of your mind in all situations causing you to ask yourself, pardon the cliché, WWJD (What Would Jesus Do).
Understanding how important God is to you, yourself, filters across to your spouse, and filters down to your children. When it’s not an option to leave God on the fringe of your family life, your children will pick up on this and begin to include Him in their thoughts too. I am not speaking of brainwashing your child, believe me they have their own thoughts. When honesty is present regarding your faith they will appreciate your feedback and ponder God more in their own hearts (which, by the way, can sometimes bring you harder questions). However, how can you share honest feelings about God if you cannot voice them? It’s imperative to be prepared for your own faith as well as for your child’s coming questions on faith.
I’d like to add to this, sharing God isn’t always about what God has done in your past, or how you got saved /received salvation. Absolutely share this story, but it can’t be your answer to every question or discussion. God is working in your life every day! Be relevant and tell them how God is moving and continuing to be involved in your life last week, yesterday, today! This way they can see clearly it is not about the history or the past, but God is still present even today doing things and guiding you as parents, helping you to be who you are every day, FOR THEM as a family unit!
When we think on the things that are relevant to them at each phase (see previous blogs to recap), be purposeful in seeing God’s help where you have seen success in these areas, be purposeful too in accepting grace where you may have stumbled. Parenting can get messy sometimes, I am super thankful for grace; it’s literally everything to me. I think sometimes I couldn’t breathe without it.
To wrap up, explore the deepest corners of your heart and know God fully. Allow this to spill over into your family life with abundance and in truth. Watch for Gods faithfulness and point it out regularly and watch as your children grasp ahold of Christ honoring concepts that bless you in return. God is indeed STILL GOOD!
Your Sister in Christ,
Deuteronomy 6:7 ESV
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Proverbs 22:6 ESV
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.