1. You shall centre your life on the Lord
As we’ve said a number of times already, no matter what we try to do, nothing will succeed unless this is in place. We need to have God at the centre of everything. Deuteronomy 6:6 says
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.”
Before we can give begin to think about teaching and training our children in God’s word, we need to make sure our hearts are right and that our lives are centred on God and His will for our lives.
2. You shall model true godly character
It is so much more important that we SHOW our children how to live, rather than just TELL them. Anyone can tell a child what to do, say and how to live, but it is so much more effective to show them by the example of how you make decisions and live your life. Timothy’s mother and grandmother are perfect examples of this –
“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” (2 Timothy 1:5)
We need to make sure that we are showing our children a good example of living for God, rather than just preaching at them.
3. You shall pray for your children
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James5:16)
Put the word ‘mother’ in there instead of person – we can make such a difference if we pray consistently for our children. A good idea is to follow one of the ’31 days’ programmes, which give you a different characteristic to pray for each day.
4. You shall be there
Oh this is a good one!! The challenge here is to spend a few moments looking at your calendar from last week. How many times were you at home when your children were at home? How many nights did you have to spend away from the house instead of being there with them?
I know that this can be a contentious issue and that some of those things that took you away from the house were necessary…but maybe some weren’t. For example, this week I am at home all week but out on Saturday night at a 40th birthday dinner, so I don’t feel bad. But there have been weeks were I have been out at meetings etc during the week, so to go out on the Saturday as well doesn’t work.
If in doubt, you need to spend some time in prayer, asking God to see if there are any ways you can ‘be there’ better, or if there are things in your life you can do without or change in order to be there more effectively.
All of these things are designed to help us to be better parents and better at managing the gift God has given us. Stay tuned for the next three disciplines!!
And keep shining… J