Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:19
Part of our role as spiritual leaders of our families is to be spiritual mentors. It’s a responsibility I felt least adequate to fulfil when I accepted Christ into my life. But God is more interested in what you can become than what you are now. I found that my children (and wife) willingly followed my lead into spiritual growth—no matter how pathetic my efforts as a teacher and guide. The important thing was that I tried.
The best (and easiest) way I found to spiritually lead my family was through prayer. While praying in front of our children can initially be intimidating for some, it is a powerful example and teaches our children the humility of being accountable to a higher authority than ourselves. It also teaches them a model of faith much more powerful than anything we tell them. Sometimes the only thing a parent can do is pray for their children. Become a prayer warrior for your family—it will save them from many situations when you can’t be there to protect them.
Pray for your children every day—a husband and wife’s prayers are powerful together. Pray for their spiritual, emotional, physical, and psychological health and safety. Pray God would bring healthy mentors and good friends into their lives. Pray for their sexual purity. Pray for their future spouse (and their parents). Pray for wisdom and discernment. And pray for your child’s decision-making. My wife prayed daily that our children would get “caught.” She knew that they would make mistakes and poor choices, but if they got caught the first time, it would prevent them from continuing. Our children were continually baffled that they got caught whenever they strayed from the path.
In our modern age there are many variations on a family, you may be single with nieces and nephews, separated or divorced with kids, a blended family, an extended or nuclear family but the basic principles above still apply.
Application: Which part of your family can you start to pray for today?
Dig Deeper: Deuteronomy 11:16-21
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