My youngest bulldozes through life. She's full of energy and is prone to leap before she looks. Often, whatever she thinks comes straight out her mouth. We've been trying to teach her gentleness, restraint and caution since she was little. This is the child who when she was about 4 years old was told not to touch the hot cast iron skillet by every adult in the room. What was the first thing she did when she sat down at the table? You guessed it. She touched the skillet and burned her hand.
Some days I think teaching her self-control and caution is a lost cause. I feel like I say the same things over and over and over. "Take three seconds to think about what you say before you say it." "Think before you act." It's enough to make you want to throw up your hands and give up.
On those days when I'm ready to give up, I've forgotten that I'm not responsible for making those lessons take hold in her heart. God is. Self-control, patience and gentleness are all fruits of the spirit. I can encourage and mold, but it's the Holy Spirit that is going to have to make those fruits grow in her.
As I struggle to figure out ways to make those character qualities take hold, I'm prone to forget the best way to make that happen -- prayer. I pray for and with my kids daily, but too often, I'm focused solely on the practical -- getting through tests, dealing with other kids, making it through a difficult situation. I don't always stop to pray that my kids would have the character qualities God wants them to have.
This week, I ran across a fantastic way to help me pray for my kids. Head over to Motherhood On A Dime and check out the 30-Day Challenge: 31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids. The printable calendar has a short prayer to pray for your kids for each day of September. This is a great way to pray things for your kids that you might not otherwise think about. Each day covers a godly character quality.
God wants to hear our prayers for our children, no matter what topic they cover. Ephesians 6:18 says "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests."
No matter what issue you're struggling to deal with with your kids today, God wants to hear about it. He wants you to bring everything to Him in prayer. Only He can help your child grow into the Godly young man or woman He wants them to be. Lay your kids at His feet, so He can work in their hearts.