It’s the start of a new year, and for many, that means the making of New Year’s Resolutions. Making resolutions can be defined as making a firm decision to do or not to do something. I don’t know about you, but I find resolutions easy to make, but often hard to keep.
I recently came across a video, in which a dad shared some resolutions he had for his toddlers. These resolutions varied from going to bed and staying in bed to putting an end to pooping in the tub. As he reached the end of his list of resolutions for his kids, he realized however, that these resolutions will not come to fruition unless he is setting a good example, unless he is modeling the behavior he desires for his kids to display. He said, “Fatherhood is about being the man I want my son to be and the man that I want my daughter to someday marry.” And I got to thinking about that. Can’t we say the same for motherhood? Don’t we each have a desire to be the best version of ourselves that we can be? Don’t we have this desire to be good moms who raise our little people into amazing adults who are honest, responsible, hard working, and who love Jesus and others well? I think that is the desire of every mama’s heart, to raise amazing kids who will one day do amazing things in this world. But, how do we do that? How do we raise amazing kids? I think there are a couple of very practical areas in which we can start.
The first is to pray. One of the most important and powerful things we can do as moms is to pray for our kids. Now, this may sound too simple or even silly to some, but the Scriptures encourage us to,
“Never stop praying.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)
Prayer is simply having a conversation with God. I talk to Him daily about my kids. I ask Him to protect them as they go about their day and to help them make wise choices. I ask for wisdom in how to handle their disobedience and how to guide them through the hard circumstances life will throw their way. I go to God in prayer when worry or anxiety over my kids threatens to consume my thoughts. Taking my kids to God in prayer is something I have gotten in the habit of doing. And, taking not only our kids, but every aspect of our lives to Him in prayer is something He longs for each of us to do. Philippians tells us,
“Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come. And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.”
Philippians 4:6-7 (VOICE)
God wants to hear from you, especially when it comes to your kids. If you are not in the habit of doing so already, start praying for your kids. Someone once said, “Prayer is not the least we can do. It is the most we can do.”, and the older I get, the more I see the wisdom in that statement.
Secondly, when it comes to raising amazing kids, I think it’s important to remember that the greatest lessons we teach our kids are those that we live out day after day. Our actions often speak more powerfully than our words, and as we go through our days, even as we do the most ordinary things like make meals, change diapers, clean up toys, I think it’s easy for us to forget the impact we are having on our kids. Our kids are little sponges. They are always watching us, imitating us, learning from us. Every day is an opportunity for us to lead by example and show our kids how to live life in a way that honors and pleases God. Proverbs says,
“Teach a child how to follow the right way; even when he is old, he will stay on course.”
Proverbs 22:6 (VOICE)
Please hear me on this, Mama. You have a responsibility to teach your kids how to follow the right way. If you don’t, I can promise you that the world will. And the world’s way is not God’s way. You have an opportunity right now to make a huge impact on the life of your kids and model how to live a life that honors and pleases God. Seize the opportunity. Show and model for your kids what an honest life looks like. Show and model for your kids what hard work and perseverance looks like. Show and model for your kids how to speak kindly and what it looks like to put others first. Show and model for your kids what a relationship with Jesus looks like. Show them. Model for them what a life chasing after the heart of God actually looks like.
Now, I’ll be honest with you; it won’t always be easy. You’re going to make mistakes, and when you do, admit them. Admit that you were wrong, seek forgiveness, and work to make things right. And remember, your kids are also going to make mistakes. There will come a time when they stray and choose to follow the world. But, remember, the work you are doing in their lives now is laying a foundation. You are teaching them what a God honoring life looks like and that is something that will stay with them. Mama, our kids need us to step up. They need us to show them what a God honoring life looks like.
As you step into this new year, I would encourage you to make a resolution. Resolve to live a life that is lead by love. Let love lead your thoughts, your words and your actions. Let the ways in which you love God and love others be evident for your kids to see. It’s time to get to work. It’s time to show our kids the way. It’s time to model for our kids what a life that honors and pleases God actually looks like. Seize this opportunity God has given you. Resolve to lead with love.
Biblegateway. www.biblegateway.com. Accessed 4 Jan. 2022.
YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1r_CD_FWel. Accessed 4 Jan. 2022.
Photo Credit. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-to-train-up-a-child_b_10967576. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.