Mom’s worry. Mom’s worry because they love. Salmonella, fast cars, getting enough veggies in their children’s diet, why can’t little Susie make any friends… Then there are the more serious matters: Will we have enough money to pay this months mortgage? The doctor found a lump in my breast; My husband lost his job – Lord, are you there?
As Mom’s, you also worry about the future of your children. You worry about their school, the college, who they will marry, the state of the economy, their 401K, Social Security or the lack thereof. I know, sweet Mama’s, it’s so easy to be drowned in worry when we take our eyes off Christ and look at the waves of culture around us.
Not only do you pray for your children and support their efforts because you want to encourage them to live by faith and to invest their lives, but you also want them to own the gifts God gave to them. Teaching your children to rely on the Lord and become an overcomer is an important part of parenting.
The Holy Spirit’s role is to provide us with counsel, wisdom and direction. It’s amazing how time and time again the spirit gives us a window into what we need to be aware of and what we need in that moment of difficulty. He knows exactly how to bring the Word of Christ to the forefront of our thoughts and into our heart, making it so real.
This is why, dear friends, it is so important to teach your precious children to learn to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
“But I don’t know HOW to teach this to my children… it just seems too ‘heady’ for me.” Oh precious friend, I’m so glad you asked!
God has wired us to internalize our parents’ guidance, values, and correction so that these things become part of us and guide us through life. Therefore if you desire to teach your children to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, it helps if you first:
- Listen to them. If you want your children to listen to you when they are older, you must listen to them while they are young. Remember the parable of the farmer – you are planting little seeds into their hearts that will reap a harvest that is far greater in the long run.
- Get On Your Knees and Pray. If you want your children to have a reverence for God, then they must see you having a reverence for Him. Getting on your knees and praying is a visible and outward expression of the inner attitude of the heart. Your children will have a much easier time giving God their total submission when they see that you are not their god, but when they understand that they, ultimately, will answer to the Almighty God.
- Tell your children how the Holy Spirit comforts and strengthens you. John 14 – 17 Share with them your experience. Tell them how the Holy Spirit is inside of you and gives you strength. Show them that Jesus promises to give us power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us (Acts 1:8) and that this is where you get your strength from.
The word “power” comes from the word “dunamis” which many people associate with the word “dynamite.” But dynamite is explosive, and this is not at all what this word is referring to. What Jesus is referring to is a new level of competency.
The Holy Spirit gives us the power to do that which God has shaped us to do and gives us the competency. Oh sweet friends, how many times have you been at the end of your rope and cried out to God for His strength? How many times have you wept in secret (in the shower or car) or prayed silently hoping that no one would notice your tears? Yet you’ve bravely plowed forward trusting in God, with no strength of your own, running only on coffee, red-bull and the power of the Holy Spirit?
Let me assure you that when you are real with your children and show them how you rely on the Lord, they will learn to develop this habit over time. In your journey, learning to walk in freedom and peace with Him, and living by His design will free you up to watch Him work, to live by grace instead of the world’s expectation of you.
You and your children and husband may all have unique purposes through a story for God’s kingdom. You may not always understand it in the midst of God preparing your heart and character for the work He has for you to do, but He uses those whose eyes are turned toward eternity, toward Him, toward His glory and work. Remember, you can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you!
Christy Demetriades, Ph.D.