[Calvary Chapel] 2000-03-04 - Kids

I felt like ripping my hair out. The older kids were fighting, the younger ones crying, the dishes were not done, the kitchen was a wreck and I really did not care at that point if anyone ate supper. The laundry was overflowing and the schoolwork was not done. I wanted to quit. My thoughts were that of escaping to … anywhere. Anywhere but here.

My husband came home and asked what he could do to help … it was one of those moments when he happened to be the first adult I spoke to all day for more than three minutes when someone dropped off their child, and well he was the unhappy recipient of a days worth of frustration. And as you might have guessed … it was not a pretty picture.

I knew at that point I had to do something different. I have the kind of personality that when something is wrong I want to jump in and fix it. It is both a strength and potential weakness. I got out my paper and pen and made lists. Things I could do, ways I could change things. Should I keep doing daycare, should I keep homeschooling? I talked to Rick. I called my Mom. I mentioned the matter to people at church, asking that they pray for me. Then it dawned on me … you know who I never asked? God.

As a matter of fact after really taking a good hard look at things, time with God was not a priority … period. I was busy. Really busy. Too busy. So I prayed. I repented and I asked God to help me to live daily with an attitude of prayer. Not just the quick "God help me!", which I have said often, nor the hour of focused prayer, but rather talking with Him about every aspect of my life throughout the day. Through prayer God revealed to me ways in which I had failed as a mother. Things I needed to confess. Not beating myself up either, but being honest before Him. The truth is that many days I had not done my best as a mother and that one was a little hard to swallow.

I have been very concerned because our children did not grow up in a Christian environment (I am remarried.) They did not grow up watching Mom and Dad love each other nor serving the Lord. I wondered if there were things that could never be "fixed." Scars that would never heal. I continued to pray. Four times this week God told me that if I want to know what to do with my children I need to "get into the Word." To know it so well that it becomes part of my own thoughts.

I need to be able to convey to them what God says about whatever issue we are dealing with. Not my ideas, not my "fix," not my plan, but His. Kids are interesting. They know when you are sincere. They know if you are walking the talk and they will call you on it if you're not. They're watching.

I have struggled over the past, prayed about it and I believe it is something that now I need to let go of. It is as though God allows you to leave it behind piece by piece so that you can focus on today. That is what Rick and I are doing with the kids. Some things we are teaching them now they should have learned a long time ago. But thank God He is merciful and patient and that He has given us this opportunity now to train them and to live the life before them.

We pray you'll find encouragement, hope and peace in the Word of God

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Deut. 12:28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the eyes of Jehovah thy God.

Col. 3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children, that they be not discouraged

Ephesians 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honor thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise), 3 that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord

2 Cor 5:17 Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.

Praise God that His promises are true for us and our children!

In His Service,
Rick & Sandy


Next week we will begin a series of devotionals on Prayer. Rick recently attended a Men's Prayer Retreat and would like to share some of what he learned over the next several weeks.