Praying for Your Other Children

   God commands us to pray, without ceasing, in and out of season, at all times about everything.  A great part of parenting is praying for our children.  Knowing we are just instruments that God wants to use in these precious ones that He has put into our world drives us to prayer.  He knows them best, loves them even more than we do, is in control and , knows the plans He has for them, which I know not. As parents, we pray so many things for our children, sometimes we may pray amiss, hopefully we more often pray God’s will.  I have verses marked in my Bible which I prayed for our children.  Their names are written beside them and they are often dated.  Now I read these verses and thank my Father for His answers.  He answered in ways I would not have dreamed!

    One of these answers was in my prayers for my children’s spouses that they each would have one day.  We began praying for those two little boys and two little girls when our own children were small.  Like our prayers for our own children, we asked God to save them at an early age and that they would grow up with the Word of God in their lives.  We prayed for their parents as they loved and taught these children. We prayed having no idea who they were but knowing all the while that God did…

    Now on the other side of those initial prayers we have seen the faces of our children’s spouses.  There were some sweet surprises along the way.  First of all when I met each one, especially the first one, I found that he was already in my heart, for you see I had been praying for him for years even though I had just then met him.  Also, as I heard their stories of God’s work in their lives; each one different, I knew  that we had been a part of their lives back then.  What a privilege to be a part of God’s Plan.

    So I encourage you to pray for those “new children” that will come into your family one day.  Pray for their parents as they bring them up.  Pray God would do those things that only He can do in their lives.  And look forward to His surprises as you meet the answers to your prayers…

Gifts to Give Your Husband on Father’s Day

    Your husband was not born knowing how to be a good Dad.  Even if he had a good role model in his own Dad or knows God as his perfect Father, he still must find his way.  His responsibility is great!  In the final analysis much is on his shoulders.  So what can you , as his wife, do to help him be the best Dad ever?  Consider these suggestions:

    1.  Encourage him, encourage him often and in everything.  Let him hold that new born, tell him he can do the things he feels awkward doing… having a tea party, or listening to the piano recital….
     2.  Support him in his decisions in parenting. ( Discuss your differences away from the kids and come to agreement)
     3.  Show how much you respect him before your children and do not let them disrespect him.
4.  Join him in a united front.  Stand together and do not let your children drive that wedge between you.
    5.  Pray, pray, pray for him and let him know you are doing so.
    6.  Allow him to do what only a Dad can do.  We mothers often hover and hold on too long and too much.  A Dad can do the things that call you children to maturity. 
         Whether your husband has been a Dad for two months or twenty years, be his greatest cheerleader.  Express your gratitude often to him and again remember to pray that God will do the work in him that only God can do. 

The Lost Art of Contentment

     In our times of grabbing, gaining, climbing, collecting and even hoarding,
the art of contentment seems lost. The desire for more, better, new and improved moves us to the place of never being content.  Contentment may even be seen as apathy or complacency by the world.
     Paul says to Timothy, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6). To connect Godliness with contentment tells me this is an important attribute for me to have.  What is contentment and why is it so illusive?  Why is it important to have? 
     Contentment has a settled, peaceful heart in whatever circumstance it’s  in. It is not wanting more, better or a different place in life. Paul also writes, “Whatever circumstance I am in I have learned to be content.” (Philippians 4:11) Paul says this from a life in which he experienced many extremely difficult circumstances yet he stayed in the place of contentment whether he had “much or little”.
     Contentment can only come when my eyes are focused on my Provider, my Protector, my Strength; in other words in my Father God.  It says, no matter what, in whatever place I am in, He will meet me there and He will be enough.
      And why is it so illusive?  Why does it often slip through my soul and become displaced by dissatisfaction, stress, unrest, or contentiousness?  I think the answer may be because we do not give the effort or practice needed to learn contentment.  Remember Paul said, ” I have look at this web-site site de rencontre skout rencontres cinéma salon de provence virgo woman dating aries man you could check here rencontre passerelle rms 6 rencontres de l'officine site de rencontre entre africain et canadien learned to be content…”  He had made the effort to take each circumstance and bring his heart to the place of acceptance in the midst of it and trust in His Sovereign Lord for the eternal purpose that it was meant to serve! 
     I think we need to preach these truths to ourselves, (I know I do). We need to be  reminded of what we probably already know and just settle our heads down in the pillow of contentment (as Jesus did during the storm). 
     Why is it important for believers to be characterized as content?  I think when our contentment is evident in our lives the world around us sees that our Father is not only enough for us in our life situations, but more than enough. The testimony of contentment speaks volumes of the care and power of our God.
      Contentment produces thanksgiving and thanksgiving gives way to contentment.  Praise follows close behind and our God gets the glory.  As John Piper says, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied.”  So Godly contentment is really deep satisfaction with our Father God… Are you content today right where you live????

An Older Mother’s Perspective

       ” I have no greater joy than that my children walk in truth…” from II John 1:4 was my heart’s prayer for years for my children.  The verse stitched and framed is still on the windowsill in my laundry room. Thankfully, I now see my grown children doing exactly that; walking in Truth.
         Looking back now on those days with my four young children, memories flood my mind.  These were precious, challenging, fun, selfless, crazy days that were filled from the time my feet hit the floor early in the morning until my head rested on my pillow at night.  (You know what I mean.)  The Word of God and wisdom from older women were sown into my life those days and without this I would have been tossed about on the sea of worldly mantra and my own weakness.  These truths were my anchor in the ocean of mothering.  I would like to share some of these scriptures and words of wisdom that I held onto tightly with faith when I was far from seeing the fruit of them in my children….

      Proverbs 22:6– Train up a child in the way he should go (and in keeping with his individual gift or bent) and when he is old he will not depart from it
       Ephesians 6:4b–rear them (tenderly) in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.
      Philippians  1:6–And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you (and in them) will continue until the day of Jesus Christ, developing (that good work) and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you (them)….  

     “Stop and take the time to push them in the swing.”
     ” It takes courage to be a mom; stand your ground!”
     ” There is life after children.” (to do things you want to do)
     “Choose your battles.” (let her wear the bra”
     ” When she is a woman, she will be your friend!”
     “Know my part and do it. Know God’s part and pray it.”
      “Treat each as an individual, enjoy her/him as an individual, and
              deal with each as God leads.
      ” Our family is not a democracy,  parents rule (under God).”
      “Life is not fair, get over it!”
      “Laugh a lot; a sense of humor is invaluable.”
      “There will always be consequences to your actions.”
      “Don’t stress the small stuff.”
      ” It takes much time, not just in quality but in quantity.”

     Training is the word often used in scripture regarding raising children and training takes loads of energy, massive amounts of time, sweat, and sometimes tears.  And training means doing it again, again, and again! But the results are worth it all.  The investment produces a return far greater than ever expected.  And it is good to reach this time of life and look back on those years and have few regrets because you gave yourself to the task during your children’s formative years, to fulfill the calling of motherhood.

A Mother’s Task

         Today I borrow some words from one of my favorite authors, Dr. James Dobson.  He has been giving sound advice on parenting since my children were little and the wisdom is still true today…

       “Your task as a mother, in conjunction with your husband, is to build a man out of the raw materials available in this delightful little boy, stone upon stone.  Never assume for a moment that  you can “do your own thing” without serious consequences for him and his sister.  I believe this task must be your highest priority for a period of time.  It will not always be required of you.  Before you know it, that child at your feet will become a young man who will pack his bags and take his first halting steps in the adult world.  Then it will be your turn.  By all expectations, you should have decades of health and vigor left to invest in whatever God calls you to do.  But for now, there is a higher calling.  I feel obligated to tell you this, whether my words are popular or not.  Raising children who have been loaned to us for a brief moment outranks every other responsibility.  Besides, living by that priority when kids are small will produce the greatest rewards at maturity.”
                                                                      Focus on the Family Newsletter
                                                                      James Dobson quote..2-06

          Notice he spoke of our children being on loan…(see On Loan post).  As a wise mentor would tell me when I had 4 little ones and days were often long and crazy at times…. “There will be life after children” and there is.  I have no regrets investing those years into my kids. 
The dividends have been great..

An Arrow in the Hand of a Warrior….

   Psalm 127:3-4  says : “Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward. As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.”
    As a mother, I saw that my Lord had placed my children in our family and truly they are a reward and a blessing (well, most of the time). I received each one with love when each was placed in my arms. When I consider the next verse, I must ask myself why are children compared to arrows? What is the purpose of an arrow?  A warrior puts the arrow in the bow, pulls it with great strength and lets it go.  A warrior is fighting an enemy and that arrow has been shaped, sharpened and guided to defeat the enemy. Our enemy is Satan and all that he wants to accomplish in this world and in the heart of your precious child.
    The question we must answer, is what are we doing to shape and sharpen and direct our children so they will be ready, to not only face the enemy, but stand firm against his ways and plans.  Shape them with the teaching of the Word of God and sharpen them with the discipline that it takes to accomplish a mighty task.  Direct them with the model of your life that points them to Jesus as you walk out each day. They are watching carefully and they will notice…