As parents, we wonder how we can protect our kids from something tragic happening every single day. With all the chaos going on in the world, sometimes we wonder if it is even safe to send our children out of the front door. We should pray for our children daily. Praying for them is one of our most fulfilling ministries. When your child is at school, with another parent or even living on their own, we can pray that blessings, wisdom, and protection surround them. These prayers bring to life the concerns, hopes, and dreams every parent has for their son or daughter. While we cannot hide our children away from the world, we can be proactive in guarding them. If you are looking for lessons on godly parenting, the Bible is a great resource.
We know that early childhood experiences can strongly impact who our child becomes. It may come as no surprise then that the first years of our child’s life is critical in laying the groundwork for building character. Parents and other members of the family play a key role in character development. How can we inspire and motivate our child’s character? The Bible tells us, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be afraid of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave You or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). No matter what obstacles you will run into on your parenting, you can rest assured that God is beside you to guide you through.
Prayer is especially important in the lives of godly parents. Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” If you are concerned about your child, pray that peace reigns in the heart and mind. Also, pray that they know God is a very present help in all circumstances. Your child should understand that they have God’s peace upon them in every sense of the word – wholeness and completeness. Our hope can be that harmony guides them and keeps them.
Self-control is another critical factor in the lives of godly parenting. Teaching self-control is one of the most important things that parents can do for their kids because these skills are essential for success later in life. Anytime a child melts down in the middle of a crowded store, at a holiday dinner with extended family, or at home, it can be extremely frustrating. But parents can help kids learn self-control and teach them how to respond without just acting on impulse. The Bible tells us, “So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6). By learning self-control, kids can make appropriate decisions and respond to stressful situations in ways that can yield positive outcomes.
One concern many parents have is that their children will pursue the right partner. The Bible tells us, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). We must lift our children’s relationship lives, praying that they will be unequally yoked in intimate relationships, especially marriage. We can also pray that their future mate would be in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Our intent as praying parents is not to pray up the “perfect” relationship partner for our child, though that is undoubtedly our own desire, but to see our child’s mate become all he or she be for God.
It is important to pay attention to is the messages your children receive from the world. The words our children receive about beauty begin very early in life. They can range from the very subtle, “Don’t you look pretty in that outfit,” to the very obvious, “You shouldn’t eat so much, or you will get fat.” A significant focus of our lives is comparing ourselves to others: clothes, jobs, schools, cars, and homes. It feels good when someone compliments us; however, how many of us thirst for those compliments? How many of our children do? We do not start as parents wanting to cause pain or heartache in our children. Still, somewhere along the way, our children are absorbing very subtle and obvious messages about themselves from us and others in society.
As godly parents, we should give our children opportunities to grow in faith, so that they grow closer to God and endure great trials. The Bible tells us, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Jesus Christ” (Romans 10:17). The closer your child is to God’s Word, the more equipped they will be to standing firm amid testings in life. If you want your child to grow in faith, turn your child over to God so that He can give them the spiritual insights they need to see Him at work.
While nothing is as terrifying as the realization that we cannot protect our children from life, one of the most comforting things we can know is that wherever we are gathered and praying, Jesus is in our midst. Jesus says, “If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:19-20). As parents, we have the power to intercede for our children, praying for wisdom, protection, peace, and strength.