Grace and peace this Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope this finds you warm, safe, and welcomed by people who love you.

Where God has called our family to serve, most people don’t know who Jesus is, and those who have chosen to follow Him face the constant threat of persecution. So, as you snuggle up close to the fire with Christmas lights and carols playing in the background about peace on earth, breathe a prayer for those around the world who don’t have that freedom.

And as you shop, ask the Lord to lead you to presents that invite His presence.  

All proceeds this author receives go to shining Christ’s light in dark places of the world where few have heard His name. 

This season, in addition to all the deep Bible studies, pure novels, and transformational prayer journals and children’s books at MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com, I’m excited to share with you a new 2019 day planner for worshippers the Lord inspired: May My Life Be a Love Song to You, God. Each month features soft worship themes with deep prayers of surrender, inviting God’s anointing through a lifestyle of worship.  

2019 May My Life Be a Love Song to You, God Day Planner Diary

The lined version has time slots for detailed planning, with room to write what God’s showing you each day. But the unlined version has lots of wide-open space for you to write or draw anything you like.

For those of you studying through the Delight to Be a Woman of Wonder spiritual warfare manual and Prayer Journal, there’s now an accompanying 2019 Power Planner for surrendering every moment and plan to Christ to make it His.

Visit www.MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com to see all the available versions, as well as other Bible studies and books to make a difference in the lives of those you care about.

Also, I just launched a new blog specifically for Christian parents, Kingdom Culture Parenting, so if you’ve enjoyed the last few posts here, please pop on over and follow me there. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join our Kingdom Culture Parenting group for Christians to encourage one another as we raise our children up to walk as one with Christ. We’re also doing a Bible study in that group, you are welcome to join.

I was talking with a friend the other day, and she was laughing about different pranks they’ve played on their kids, telling them they’re on Santa’s naughty list. But it got me thinking….

So many people see God kind of like a Santa up there writing down in a book all the bad things we’ve done; no matter how good we try to be, that list never seems to even up.

Do you ever feel that way? Do you run all day long from one task to the next, trying to please God and everyone else, but never quite making it there? Maybe others are quick to tell you what you’re doing wrong. Or maybe you judge yourself. Either way, that guilt pit is deep, and the lies so sticky, it will take Truth’s hand to pull you out of there so you can be free.

Our kids tend to lean on God the same way they lean on us. So, if we’re telling them all the ways they don’t measure up, they’re likely to see God as displeased with them, as well.

How are children respond is a good indication of what’s going on in their hearts.

The sweet thing about grace is it’s not about how great we are, but about the greatest Sacrifice paid for us. Because of what Christ has done, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1a kjv), because “For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14 kjv.

So, this Christmas season, I challenge you to receive fully God’s grace for whatever Satan has been holding over your head your whole life. And to offer freely His grace to your spouse, children, and other loved ones around you.

After all, none of us is perfect; except through the One Who has made us so. Ephesians 2:8-9.

Blessings! And merry Christmas!

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Raising Warriors a Culture Apart (Part 7: Parenting from a freed heart)

What I’m going to share with you in this blog today is perhaps one of the most powerful ways God has transformed my heart and made me into the mother my children needed to grow up as more than conquerors.

The Galatians Gauge:

Whenever you feel something negative outside of the love, joy, peace and all the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), get alone with God and ask Him where that comes from, so He can transform you. 

You see, whenever we feel anxious, depressed, angry, defensive, or anything else negative outside the fruit of the Spirit, a lie is usually involved—something the enemy planted in your heart, usually through a traumatic or otherwise difficult experience, to draw you away from intimacy with God and others. John 8:42-47, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Matthew 22:37-40. Those lies and negative experiences become the building blocks for strongholds like depression, anger, selfishness, etc.

What you need to topple those prison walls is a close encounter with the One Whose name is Truth. John 8:32; 14:6, 15-17.

Truth Encounter

  1. Whenever anxiety, self-defense, anger, doubt, stress, or anything else negative outside the fruit of the Spirit comes up in your heart, excuse yourself from the situation as soon as you can, and get alone with God. Ask the Lord to shield and guide that time with Him, and keep away distractions.
  2. Then ask Him, “Lord, when did that reaction first enter my life? Where do those thoughts (fear, vengeance, disappointment, etc.) come from? Take me anywhere You want to take me and show me anything You want to show me.”
  3. He will usually take you to an earlier memory (But just follow His lead if He takes you somewhere else.). Allow yourself to feel what you felt when that happenedYou’re looking for the lies, like, “Nobody cares about me,” “I’m all alone,” “I can’t do anything right,” etc.
  4. Now, while you’re still in that memory, pray, “Jesus, What do You say to that? You were there when that happened. What were You doing or saying?” 
  5. Then look around for Him in your memory, or listen for His still, small voice reminding you of a verse or telling you how much He loves you. Jeremiah 29:13. This is the truth that sets you free. 

Such a Truth Encounter usually takes only a few minutes, but the heart transformation is eternal! When I’m bound by a stronghold, thoughts of judgment, envy, or whatever my issue is, control my reactions rather than the Holy Spirit. But once Truth knocks down those lie-walls, I am free! The enemy may come back again with the same old temptations to react, but now that Truth has set me free, I’m not overwhelmed by those lie-thoughts anymore. I can choose to walk in the Spirit’s leading instead.

If I want to make sure that what I feel God showing me is from Him, I run it through the Three-Fold Sieve in Part 6: 1) Does it agree with God’s Word—all of it, not just a portion? 2) Does it agree with God’s character, especially His love and grace? 3) Does it draw me (and others) closer to Him?

For example, someone with a stronghold of failure may have done or said something wrong as a child. His father or someone else he looked up to might have said, “You can’t do anything right!” Then after several failed tests, relationships, and job attempts, he agrees, “I can’t do anything right!”

That’s a lie because of Philippians 4:13, Romans 8:28, Proverbs 3:5-6, John 5:19, 1 John 1:9, and so many more passages that speak of how we live in God’s strength doing what He leads us to do and we are more than conquerors through His love.

But the enemy loves to confirm his lies, so he brings many more circumstances into our lives to punctuate them and strengthen the strongholds he’s building in our hearts. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Ephesians 6:10-20, John 8:42-47.

Head knowledge and sheer will aren’t strong enough to break free from such negative thought habits and sins that have a “strong hold” on us. We need Someone stronger. John 8:31-32.

The Truth will set you free-spiritual warfare-battle strategies-Mikaela Vincent-MoreThanAConquerorBooks-1

So, how do we help our children to freedom, then?

That’s actually much simpler. Because children don’t have all the barriers adults have against experiencing God and believing His Word.

Whenever our kids were upset about something, we would pray together with them, “Lord, You see our hearts. You know why we’re hurting and what we feel. Take us anywhere You want to take us. Show us anything You want to show us. Do anything You want to do.” Immediately, He would show them just what their little hearts needed, and the crisis was over!

For example, my son was upset one time because I had just gotten home from leading a women’s retreat, and the house was filled with those who had helped me (We were about to debrief.). At the same time, my husband left on a trip. (We work in a dark corner of the world where few have heard Jesus’ name.) Our son, who was nine at the time, was crying because he wanted time in-between trips to just be a family. (He was right, actually. We never did that again!)

I excused myself from my guests, closed the door to my son’s room, and prayed with him as he asked Jesus to “Take me anywhere You want to take me and show me anything You want to show me.” Immediately, the eyes of his heart saw the image of a peaceful forest, with the sunlight streaming through the trees and a beautiful waterfall. Jesus stepped through the light and said to him, “Don’t worry. It’ll be all right. Your father will be home soon.”

Immediately, his heart was calm and he fell asleep! From tears to sleep in just under two minutes! Nothing I could have said to him would have had those results, even if I had said the same thing!

Because I’m not Jesus. My son needed Truth Himself to set him free.

Prayer matters-child-pray-Bible-boy-Mikaela Vincent-MoreThanAConquerorBooks

For more help in leading your children to listen to God, try the tips for parents in the back of Out You Go, Fear! 

Truth to Overcome-Out You Go, Fear!-Mikaela Vincent-MoreThanAConquerorBooks

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Raising Warriors a Culture Apart (Part 6: Training Your Children to Listen to God)

Children hear so easily from the Lord. They’re not inhibited by doubt, fear, pride, or any of the other walls most adults have built between God. They have no trouble believing He speaks to us. After all, nothing is impossible for God; the Bible tells us so. Proverbs 3:5-6; John 10:27; Matthew 19:26.

So, take advantage of this time while your children are young to learn together with them how to listen to God. 

If you yourself have trouble believing God speaks to you, remember that everything we think, believe, and act upon must agree with what God says in order for it to be true. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, John 8:42-47. There just is no verse that says He stopped speaking when the canon was closed. So, let’s look at some of the many ways the Bible says God speaks:

  • The Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • Circumstances (2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Psalm 40:1-3)
  • Others (1 Corinthians 2:4-13)
  • His still small voice in your mind and heart (Psalm 42:8)
  • Dreams and visions (Acts 2:17)
  • Impressions or urgings (Acts 15:28)
  • A sense of peace (Acts 2:17-21)
  • Signs and wonders (Acts 2:17-21)
  • Nature (Psalm 125; 19:1-4)
  • and many more!!!!

His voice might be loud and earth-shattering (Psalm 29), or soft and whispered (1 Kings 19:11-13), but God most certainly speaks!

So, how will you and your children know His voice, when so many other voices (like your own, others’, the enemy’s, and the world’s) are vying for attention?

The Three-Fold Sieve

Everything God says

  1. Agrees with His Word — all of it, not just a portion
  2. Agrees with His character, especially His love
  3. Draws us closer to Himself

So, let’s try that now. Run the sentence, “God speaks to others, but not to me,” through the Three-Fold Sieve. Does it make it through?

Three-fold Sieve for Knowing God's Voice-listen-Mikaela Vincent-MoreThanAConquerorBooks

Sometimes the reason we think we can’t hear God is because He’s not answering us in the way we expect or want Him to. 

The best way to “hear” the Lord is to surrender. Lay all of your opinions, ideas, hopes, desires, etc., down at His feet and ask Him for His.

There’s more on listening to God in the devotional Bible study workbook, Dare to Become a Kingdom Culture Leader, Volume 1, and Volume 2. But in this post, I’d like to encourage you to lead your children to listen to the Lord. They will need that belt of truth sooner than you think. Ephesians 6:14, Psalm 8:2.

Now is the time to train your children (and yourself!) to grab hold of what Truth says so the father of lies won’t take you captive.

John 8:42-47, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

This is one of the methods the Lord led us to do:

  1. Snuggle up together in bed at night with the lights out.
  2. Pray for Him to push out any distractions and enemy interference.
  3. Ask God to lead us in our time together and speak to our hearts.
  4. Then ask Him a question.

Here are a few of our favorite questions to ask Him:

  • Lord, what do You want to say to my heart right now? Take me anywhere You want to take me. Show me anything You want to show me. Say anything You want to say.
  • Lord, when You look at me, what do You see?
  • Lord, what’s on Your mind? What makes You happy? What makes You sad?
  • Lord, show me where You were throughout my day today and what You were doing.
  • Lord, show me where You’ll be tomorrow and what You want to do with me.

Our kids were so excited to share what God was saying to their hearts that we had to make a rule to keep silent while others were still listening, and then put a hand on my arm when we’d heard from God. When all the hands were in place, we’d share with each other what He said.

Because we asked the Lord to protect that time together and to lead us, and because we asked God to speak, not the enemy or ourselves, we trusted Him to answer, and He did. That time was also extra-protected because we could run what He said through the Three-Fold Sieve together.

Just to give you an idea of how God speaks to children, the first time we did this together we asked, “Lord, when You look at me, what do You see?” Both our kids immediately saw pictures.

“I’m a mighty warrior, with so much armor from head to toe that you can only see my eyes,” said our son.

And our daughter giggled, “I’m a warrior princess in a white dress, carrying a plate of fruit to Jesus.”

Growing up in a dark corner of the world where spiritual warfare is at crazy levels, our son has fought countless battles ever so bravely for the Lord. And our daughter lives out all the fruit the Spirit has given her, but she so joyfully offers it all back to Jesus. (See Ephesians 6:10-20, Galatians 5:22-23).

As if that wasn’t evidence enough that the pictures were from the Lord, a few days later we received a book in the mail from a friend: Children, Can You Hear Me? by Brad Jersak (which I highly recommend, by the way.) The kids and I flipped through the pages together and found that very same question we had asked Jesus. Next to it was a drawing of a brother and sister looking in the mirror; and in their reflection, he was armored from head to toe and she was wearing a white princess dress.

Indeed God speaks in mysterious and wonderful ways!

(For more information on equipping your children to triumph over lies, see Out You Go, Fear! children’s book for ages 4-8; in the back are tips for parents to help kids listen to God and walk in freedom from fear and other strongholds.)

Truth to Overcome-Out You Go, Fear!-Mikaela Vincent-MoreThanAConquerorBooks

For a free guide to knowing God’s voice, visit www.MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com.

open my ears to hear You-Mikaela Vincent-MoreThanAConquerorBooks

 

Raising Warriors a Culture Apart (Part 5: Modeling Humility)

Let’s face it. No matter how great you thought you’d be at this thing called parenting, you’ve made mistakes. Lots of them. Have you ever thought before, “Oh, no! What if I’m totally messing up my kids!”?

The good news is God can redeem absolutely anythingHe is bigger than your mistakes. In fact, if you let Him, He’ll even make something beautiful out of them. 1 Peter 4:8, Romans 8:28. Especially if you use your mistakes as a chance to demonstrate before your children HUMILITY.

The fact that you mess up isn’t a surprise to anyone but you, by the way. Everyone who knows you has seen just how human you are. And that pride that leads you to mess up (and then deny your mess) is also of this world.

But humility, … now, that is Heavenly. That is SUPER POWERED by the Love Who lives within you. 1 John 1:9-10, 4:7-21.

Your little warrior you’re raising up to walk in the Light will need that humility, as well. 1 John 1:7. It’s not enough to just teach your children about being humble. They need to see you do it.

  1. Admit your mistakes. Don’t hide. Don’t excuse. Don’t blame. The best way to miss what God’s showing you is to deny you have a problem or point your finger at someone else. As much as you’d like to think you’re right all the time, you’re just not. In fact, sometimes that little warrior is going to know God’s heart before you do on a matter. So,

  2. Listen. Before you shoot off an angry reply, before you say “no,” before you talk over your child to make some point, before you tell her what she should feel, … listen to what’s going on in her heart. And then

  3. Pray. Ask the Lord how He sees the situation. Pray about it together with your children, or say something like, “Hold on a moment while I ask Jesus what He wants to do.” So many times, as I prayed that prayer and those eager little faces watched in anticipation of what He would say, Jesus showed me where I was wrong and how to make it right.

  4. Whenever you mess up, lose your temper, don’t listen, make an unjust or selfish decision, etc., ask forgiveness.

    pride denies my sin-humility says forgive me-Mikaela Vincent-MoreThanAConquerorBooks-1-2  “I was wrong. Please forgive me,” will be some of the most powerful words your children will ever hear from you.


  5. Serve others. Serve your spouse. Serve your children. With a heart full of joy, and without complaining.

    pride serves myself-humility serves God and others-Mikaela Vincent-MoreThanAConquerorBooks-1


    Don’t just tell your kids to be nice, model it. They need to see you do it. When you wake up in the morning, rather than just thinking about all the things you need to get done, ask the Lord what He wants you to do to bless your kids or your spouse or your neighbors. If God urges you to help a neighbor, look for ways you can take your children along and give them tasks to help as well.


    Serve others together as one-family-Dare to Become a Kingdom Culture Leader-Mikaela Vincent-MoreThanAConquerorBooks.jpg


For more on modeling humility for your children and others, visit the Pride versus Humility album on my Facebook profile (you’re also welcome to friend me).

pride tears apart families-humility brings peace-Mikaela Vincent-MoreThanAConquerorBooks.jpg

And if you’d like the Lord to do a deeper work in you for oneness with Him and with your family, try Dare to Become a Kingdom Culture Leader, Volume One and Volume Two, Dare to Be a Mighty Warrior and Delight to Be a Woman of Wonder.

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Raising Warriors a Culture Apart (Part 4: Breaking the Cookie Cutter)

It’s easy as Christian parents to try to press our children into the shape we think they should be.

So they’ll get out there and fight the good fight.

So they’ll slay whatever “dragon” (piano, football, high academic achievement, good-paying job, wise choices, etc.) we always wished we’d slayed.

So they’ll save the world, … or even just be saved themselves.

But what happens when that sweet little one you raised up to know Jesus and to do all the things you wanted him/her to do launches out of the cookie cutter into some other shape your heart wasn’t prepared for?

  1. Love your children and have grace for them. Remember all the ways God has rescued you and brought you to Himself, and then trust Him with your children’s lives. 1 Peter 4:8.
  2. Give your child room to question and explore. Many times, it is the one who resists and doubts that becomes the most passionate of believers once convinced of the Truth. (Look at CS Lewis!) Use your child’s doubts and questions as an open door for Truth to walk through. John 14:6.
  3. Give your child the freedom to make mistakes. Our failures are a great way to learn. Think back on your own life. What has God taught you through your mistakes? Like our 12-year-old said one day to his little sister: “There are two ways to learn. Take mom and dad’s advice, or mess up. Either way you learn. But the first way is easiest.”
  4. Let your children be children. Remember they are still growing, still learning, even as you are. Your ideal of what your child should be may not be God’s, after all. Isaiah 55:8-9. Let them play, pray, learn, and discover God’s purposes for their lives together with Him and with you.
  5. Lay all your opinions, ideas, and judgments about your children at Jesus’ feet and ask Him how He sees them. God did not create this child to right all your wrongs and become what you never had the chance to be. He created them to know Him, love Him, and lead others into His love. Only He knows the many purposes He has for them; only He knows their future. Don’t fight against God’s purposes. Join Him.
  6. Be their safe place. Listen to them. Repeat back to them, “I hear you saying you feel … because…. Is that right?” Acknowledge that their opinions matter. Apologize for any way you’ve contributed to their pain. And pray with them, seeking the Lord for what He says about each situation. (See Part 2: Modeling Listening to God Before Making Decisions.)
  7. Let God change you. The best way to pave the way for your children’s freedom is to be free yourself. (For Bible studies on listening to God’s voice and finding freedom from strongholds, sins, and wrong thought processes that control your reactions rather than the Holy Spirit, try Dare to Become a Kingdom Culture Leader, Volume 1 and Volume 2; or Dare to Be a Mighty Warrior and Delight to Be a Woman of Wonder.
  8. Don’t worry. But do pray. If you’ve given your children into God’s hands, then rest in His sovereignty, love and power to draw them to Himself. Don’t just worry with your eyes closed. Philippians 4:6-7. Truly pray for them: for the veil to be lifted from their eyes so they can see Jesus as He really is, for whatever walls of doubt or pride to come down, for the things of this world to leave them empty and longing for Jesus, and for whatever else God shows you to pray for. Seek the Lord for Scripture to pray over them (a powerful way to agree with God and pray back to Him what He’s already said).

These children God has blessed you with He has placed in your care a short amount of time. In the first few years, they will lean on you like you lean on Him. But when they reach around age 10 or 11, they will begin leaning on someone or something else. Prepare them well to lean on Jesus. (See Part 1: Arm Them Well with the Word.)

If your children have already passed that age and are not leaning on the Lord, all is not lost. Keep praying for them and loving them back into His arms. And let God change you. In the end, it may be the difference they see in your life that draws them back to Himself.

Let God change you-Parents modeling Christ-Mikaela Vincent-MoreThanAConquerorBooks 

Raising Warriors a Culture Apart (Part 3: Modeling Love in Your Marriage)

What would it take to raise a modern-day hero? I don’t mean one with superpowers like Wonder Woman or Superman. … Or do I? Because every one of us who has chosen Christ has within us the greatest power of all (Philippians 4:13):

LOVE. 1 John 4:8, 16.

Love casts out fear (1 John 4:18), overcomes every hardship (Romans 8:28-39), and absolutely ruins our enemies (Romans 12:9-21). No matter what arrows Satan shoots at you, if you stand in Love’s power, you will see victory. Psalm 44:3.

So, it makes sense that if we’re going to raise up these little warriors to become more than conquerors, love is what we need to model loudly and clearly before our children every day.

Moms often have a special measure of God’s superpower to serve. We’re usually pretty good at sacrificially staying up all night with that crying baby, and washing that dirty laundry even if no one thanks us and it ends up all muddy again by evening. We may complain and lose our patience in the process, but we know it has to be done, because that little life depends on us.

But how are we doing with loving our husbands? Because those little warriors are watching us. And husbands, how are you doing with loving your wives?

model-loving-each-other-your-children-are-watching-mikaela-vincent-morethanaconquerorbooks2.jpg

Choose to love, even when your spouse is unlovely, to bless, even when you’re persecuted. You can’t control how others treat you, but you can choose to let Love control your response.

I was thinking about that this week, as I mentored a group of moms of small children; a couple of them have husbands that can be a bit hard to love. We challenged each other to ask the Lord each morning, “What can I do to bless my husband today?” Then step out in obedience to what God brings to mind. (Whatever God says will agree with His Word and His heart of love. Visit MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com for a free guide to knowing God’s voice.)

Of course, wouldn’t you know that I got sick immediately.

I find God often loves to show how strong He is when I am weak, because I know I can’t do it in my own strength, so I have to surrender completely to Him and depend on His power to empower me. Then He miraculously does what I could never have done on my own. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

Even now, I’m relying on His power to write this, as I’m still achy, feverish, muddle-headed, and lying down with this flu thing I have…. So, as you can imagine, having the energy to physically do the things God has asked me to do each day of this challenge has cost me. Because my body just wants to lie in bed and groan. But each day, He gives me the spurt of energy to do that special thing to bless my husband, and I’m in awe of this One I love, because He’s just … so … purposeful in the way He teaches us and molds us to be like Him.

You see, burnout happens when you’re doing more than God has asked you to, or you’re doing it in your own power. But when He is the One Whose love and power flow through you to love those around you, it feels effortless because of the joy and peace we feel as His Spirit surges through us when we obey. He accomplishes what we never could have done on our own. 

And it doesn’t matter how the other person responds. That’s not what we fix our eyes on. Just love. Period. In fact, when others respond adversely, that demonstration our children see in us as we love in the face of ungratefulness or attacks is all the louder. Matthew 5:44. 

So purpose to love. At all times in all ways. 

Husbands, I dare you this year, in 2018, to ask the Lord each morning when you wake up, “How can I bless my wife today?” and then step out in Love’s power to do that.

If you’d like some help in hearing God’s voice, living in His power, responding in love, and influencing your children and others to do the same, try the devotional Bible studies, Dare to Become a Kingdom Culture Leader, Volumes One and Two; and Dare to Be a Mighty Warrior. 

Wives, I challenge you in 2018, to daily lay down your past habits of responding to your husband out of judgment, fear, bitterness, self-defense, neediness, distrust … and ask the Lord to transform you.

For daily surrender to the Lord’s plans and walking in His power every moment, letting Him set you free from the things that hold you back, try the 2018 Delight to Be a Woman of Wonder Power Planner and Delight to Be a Woman of Wonder devotional Bible study.

Model Matthew 22:37-40 in your marriage in front of your kids, so they will know what true love looks like and rise up to conquer every conflict through the power of God’s perfect love.

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Raising Warriors a Culture Apart (Part 2: Modeling Listening to God Before Making Decisions)

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.

Let your children see you pray-seek God before making decisions-Model listening-knight-father-armor-pray-Mikaela Vincent-MoreThanAConquerorBooks-1

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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

If you’d like to know more about influencing your children and others to listen to God and follow His lead, check out Dare to Become a Kingdom Culture Leader, Volume 1 and Volume 2.