A few days ago, my kids and I broke away from dinner time clean-up to take an evening walk. One of the most refreshing times for me as a mom is to head a couple blocks south of our home and watch the sun set in the wide-open fields. A dirt road leads to the land and as you come to the end of it a yellow traffic sign meets you with a bold black arrow pointing to the left and one to the right.
As my kids made their way to the sign and the bursts of pink, orange, and blue colors in the sky hung in the backdrop, I thought about how much they’re growing up. Just the other night I began to share with my almost ten-year-old son how as he grows older he’ll begin to see more of the ugly that’s in our world – hatred and murder to name a few. We had a serious conversation and will continue that dialogue.
Since then, I’ve continued to think about the decisions my kids will face as they meet each new stage of development:
- Choosing the right friends
- Navigating challenges in school
- Handling the good and bad of technology
- Deciding their passions and educational pursuits
- Giving into the flesh or the spirit
- Finding their identity in Christ or in this culture
- Believing who God says they are vs. lies of Satan
All of these are critical choices that can’t be diminished. It’s a matter of wisdom. The book of Proverbs is full of stark contrasts between the wise and the foolish person:
- The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness (Ecclesiastes 2:14).
- The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice (Proverbs 12:15).
- The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace (Proverbs 3:35).
- And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand (Matthew 7:26).
- The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him (Ecclesiastes 10:12).
We want our kids to be wise and not foolish. No one wants to be a fool, yet many times the roads that we take are in fact that very nature as we can be easily deceived.
As moms we have the wonderful privilege and opportunity to pray for these crossroads in our children’s lives. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say it’s our joyful duty. If we don’t pray for the overall trajectory of their lives, who will?
Here are ten ways you can start now and begin praying for your child’s decisions and choices:
- Pray that God will soften your child’s heart toward his Word and commands.
- Pray that when your child is faced with temptation, that he/she will remember his word and act on it.
- Pray that your child will know and feel the love of Jesus, no matter how he/she behaves.
- Pray that in each new season of life, God will bring positive role models and friends to your child that will build him/her up to be a better person.
- Pray for your own relationship with your child to be one of unconditional love, acceptance, joy, selflessness, and trust.
- Pray that God will lead your family to a gospel-centered church where your child can grow in the love and nurture of the Lord around strong believers who love Jesus.
- Pray for discernment and wisdom in how to raise, discipline, and provide boundaries for your child.
- Pray that God would show you what your child needs in the appropriate situation and for His will to be done.
- Pray that your child will have a thirst and desire for the Lord – to walk in the Spirit and not the constant pull of the flesh.
- Pray for your child to have respect for their authority and to be a blessing to their classmates and teachers.
We can’t underestimate how powerful our prayers are. God desires that we come to his throne of grace as moms—all the time! The truth is we all need his grace in some way, shape, or form. We can’t undervalue the importance of being specific in our prayers and believing that God will answer them.
As your children continue to face new crossroads as they grow up, may they know and feel your love and care for them because you want the absolute best for them – not pain and harm - so they’ll live long, prosperous, and blessed lives in the love and fear of the Lord.
When they’re adults, may they rise up and call you blessed as their Mama (Prov. 31:28). May they know that your prayers were a huge reason why they chose the road of wisdom and not foolishness.
* This article was originally published on the TheCourage.com