With all the dangers in the world today, it can be terrifying to think about our children leaving the shelter of our home to step out there all on their own. For now, we keep them in a Christian bubble, even picking their friends for them when we can. But when that day comes for our warriors to leave home and face the enemy head on without Mom and Dad to shield them, will they be ready? Will you?
In my October blog (Part 1) on “Raising Warriors a Culture Apart” I shared with you some ways the Lord asked us to arm our children well with “sword training.”
This month, I’d like to share the importance of arming them with Kingdom Culture decision-making.
If you’re telling your children how important it is to seek the Lord before you make decisions (Proverbs 3:5-7), but you’re making all their decisions for them, how will they learn to practice what you’re preaching to them?
And if they see you making spur-of-the-moment decisions all day long without seeking Christ first, how will they know what it looks like to listen to God and follow His lead?
We need to model Kingdom Culture decision-making in a visible, audible way, and encourage them also in seeking God first now, while they’re under our roof, so it will already be their habit when they get out there in the real world.
How can we model Kingdom Culture decision making? (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Make it your own habit. Every day, you are making decisions, big and small. Get in the habit of handing God each decision: “Should I buy this or not?” “Is there someone You want me to call or meet with today?” “How do You want me to handle this situation?” “What do You want me to make for dinner today? Do You want us to go out? Where? Seat us at just the table with just the waiter You want us to show Your love to.” “How can I show my children love today?” “How can I bless this person?” “How do You want me to discipline this child in this situation?” etc.
- Don’t hide it. Let them see you pray and listen to God. Our quiet times are definitely important, but also pray in front of your children. Let them see you stop and ask God how to respond in each situation before you decide. Pray out loud, so they can hear you. “Lord, this traffic is really bad. Is there another route You want me to take?” “Lord, I don’t know what to do in this situation. Please show me.” “Lord, Jimmy is having trouble getting his homework done. What do You suggest we do to help him?” etc.
- Invite them to seek the Lord together with you. Pray together with them about the situations and problems your family faces, asking God what He wants to do about that.
- Let them practice making decisions with God’s guidance. As God leads, when your children begin showing some wisdom and responsibility, give them freedom to pray and ask God what He wants them to do before making decisions; like whether or not to go to youth group when they’re tired, or to a movie their friends are going to, etc. You can share with them advantages and disadvantages on either side, but give them freedom to make mistakes. Then you can talk about things together afterward. This is great training ground for when they get out there in the real world and have to make decisions on their own.
That might not seem practical to you, especially when you’re in a hurry, or it feels awkward or embarrassing to pray about everything. But I could give you hundreds of examples where it made all the difference in the world, not only in my life, but in our children’s.
And I can also tell you how disastrous not seeking the Lord can be.
When our son began hanging out with a boy we thought might be a bad influence on him, my husband and I decided we’d tell him he couldn’t spend so much time with that boy. But just before I talked with him about it, I remembered we hadn’t asked God first. So, I asked, “Lord, what do You think about that?”
His answer came immediately in that still small voice of His in my heart and mind: “I think you should ask him what I want him to do.” So, I went to our son, shared our concerns with him, then told him to pray about what he should do.
“I don’t need to pray about it, Mom. I already know what God wants me to do. He wants me to be his friend.”
Two weeks later, that boy came to Christ through our son’s influence!
Not only do the decisions we make often have eternal results, but influencing our children to seek God first by modeling it ourselves will make all the difference for the rest of their lives. And our own.