Monday, September 22, 2008

MOMMY (or caregiver/mentor) MONDAYS #27

When you pray for your children, do you pray for the friends that they hang around too? Should that be a regular part of your prayer life when it comes to your kids? After all, they're not around you 24/7, and it matters about the influence they're under.

My husband and I were talking this weekend about the fact that as humans, we want to be in control of everything, our lives, the kids' lives, our situations, etc. We know that we shoud relinquish full and total control to God, but somehow, in our human-ness, we take back control and make decisions apart from God before we know it. Well, we CAN'T always control who our children are around, or who they will encounter when we just can't have that watchful eye over them every moment. Even when we are around, there can be subtle things that happen, that we may miss, but the children surely won't miss, that happened before we were aware of what was really going on. What to do? Well for starters, realize that we can't be in control of every situation that our kids are involved in, and we can't always control whom they will encounter.

But, we can pray for the people that they will surely come in contact with, whether we're there or not. My husband and I discussed how people in the church have the misguided notion that if they only expose their children to church kids, they don't have to worry about the problem of having their children exposed to "the wrong kind." Wrong notion! The enemy and his influence is everywhere, yes, including the church. The building of the church holds no special "aura" around the doors that once inside, you're safe, and the enemy can't penetrate the walls or the doors. Children who have worldly influence do come to church. And what's wrong with that? After all, that's where they need to be. If they have any chance of right influence and coming to know Christ (if they don't know Him already), this is the place to be. Christ didn't go around seeking the saved and the near-perfect, He sought the lost and sick. He hung out with ALL kinds.

It is best, we've learned, that we focus less on whom our children may encounter (though we do talk to them about their choices and we do try and steer them in the right directions or away from obvious negative influence) and focus more on modeling Christ in our home, teaching the love of Christ and His Word, teaching right from wrong then talking about and giving our children choices in life (knowing that there is a benefit or consequence to all of their choices--even what friends they choose to hang around), etc. We feel if they focus more on these things and practice them, they will be prone to make better choices when they're out. They get the opportunity, every time they leave us, to put into practice what they've learned. They also get the opportunity, if they choose wisely, to model Christ before the unsaved.

Sometimes I say, "Too bad I can't protect them fully from everything." But that shouldn't be "too bad." I should be glad to commit the Savior and Protector, the very Creator of the children who loves their very souls, to have complete charge of and parent my children through me. I always say, He can do a much better job controlling the things that He creates, than I can. I'm just the vessel He chose to use to parent them in human form and love them. I must stay prayerful, consulting the Creator, and ask for His protection on them. I must listen to His Words on how to raise them and obey those words. This is really all that we can do. We must fully trust God with them. That is hard isn't it? It's right, and it must be done, but in all honesty, it's hard sometimes. Yes, we must relinquish what we realistically have no control of to the one who is in ultimate control.

Pray then, for your children's encounters. Pray protection around your children (their hearts, minds, bodies) when they're out and about. Pray for their decisions when you're in their presence in public places or not in their presence. Pray for their classmates and/or church mates. Some are going to be saved. Some won't. You'd have to lock your kid up in the basement to protect them from potentially bad influences, but that bad influence NEEDS your prayers. What are the goals after all, in life, or what should they be? To glorify God and bring someone else to the saving knowledge of Christ.

NOTE: If you have been reading my celebration post (for my 200th), check back today and pick up where you left off. I'm going to try and finish this post today, but if I cannot, there will be new things to read, I'll get as far as I can get, and we'll be that much closer to 100!! I think doing the post ended up being a larger endeavor than I thought, but I don't regret taking it on. I hope you learned something you may not have known about God or the Bible.

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