Building Your Child’s Faith


Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NIV 1984)

As we stood in the parking lot outside my daughter’s dorm, waves of grief washed over her mom. Lauren hugged me and then her brother. Finally, Mom held her for what seemed an eternity … no words, just tears.

 

When we began the drive home, She prayed for her, just as she had every day for the last 18 years. She knew it was time for the next phase of Gods plan for her life. But the ache in a mother’s heart was deep.

 

As time passed, She learned to accept, and even embrace, our new normal. She enjoyed the extra time she got to spend with me her husband and  our son.

 

But she  couldn’t get used to not encouraging Lauren in her faith face-to-face. We sent her to college with a Bible and a devotional book. But when she lived at home, we did these activities together. In the mornings, we read a devotion and I prayed with her most every day, from the time she was born till the day she packed her bags to move out.

 

Questions filled our minds. Without us, who would do this for her? Would she do it on her own? What if she turned away from her faith we’d been building for so long?

 

This questions prompted us to pray very specifically. WE prayed that Lauren  make her faith her own, as we had trained her to do all these years. We asked the Lord to work in her life in very real and personal ways, just like the times we’d pointed out for her to notice in her childhood. We prayed for His Spirit to stir her heart to read her devotional book each day, and we pleaded with Him to meet her in the pages of His Word.

 

God answered our prayers in a way only He can do. Lauren had been studying for her economics exam for days. She was worried she would fail because she’d been struggling with some of the concepts. OUR  daughter texted us and a few good friends to pray. WE wrote her back the prayer and a verse the Lord laid on my heart, Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (ESV). As it was sending, WE  prayed for Him to use this verse to encourage her and give her confidence as she walked into her exam.

 

She wrote back next morning:

 

“I opened my devotional and today’s truth was Proverbs 3:5, exactly the verse you gave me!! ENCOURAGEMENT.”

 

God teaches us a powerful lesson we as parents. Our  role as a parent is to pray for and with our children and to model, to the best of our ability, what it means to be a godly family. WE  are  not perfect and often miss the mark. But when we do those two things, God fills in the rest. We only have them at home to teach, guide and train in God’s Word for a short 18 years. But they are His for all their lives.

 

God showed us through a few minutes of texting that Lauren’s faith was still building. On her own, she asked for prayer (which meant she too was praying), and she was reading her devotional book with no prompting from home.

 

If you have kids at home, pray for them, read God’s Word with them and rest in knowing God is with them. You are building a firm foundation. You are paving a pathway that will lead them in the direction they should go.

 

Dear Lord, help me to train my children in the way they should go. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, lead me as I lead them. Draw each of us closer to You as we walk together in faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Reflect and Respond:
Read Lamentations 2:19. Prayerfully ask the Lord how you can pray for the children in your life.

 

If you are a parent or grandparent, pray specifically for one of your children. Ask God for wisdom to guide you on how to pray and share with that child you are praying for him or her.

 

Power Verse:
Lamentations 2:19a, “Rise up during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children.” (NLT)

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