We are often reminded of the poor choices we’ve made in our lives, and even the saying “it will come back to bite you” holds true sometimes. For me, this was especially true in High School when I would check the back of my eyelids to make sure they were still there, instead of actually listening to the instructor. The result? Let’s just say I didn’t have as smooth a senior year as some. (I still graduated)
Financial choices commonly show their effects almost immediately. For example, around Christmas time many of us would choose to spend a little bit more money on the credit card instead of continuing on the quest for becoming debt free, but I digress. This is not what I want to talk about right now. I want to talk about different choices. I want to talk about the choices we make in child raising, where every now and then you get a glimpse of a successful parenting tactic.
Although not all of you may relate to this, you can still appreciate when a choice you made somehow gets confirmed as being the right choice.
To start, let me give you a brief little history, of my childhood mornings.
My father used to sit us down before school every morning, and we would try to do a quick memory verse and then pray. Prior to *ahem* a certain age, we had some good fun. We would make fun gestures and have a grand ‘ole time. The gestures and voice inflections made it much easier to memorize.
My sister, brother and I however, grew up. Then the mornings would seem to just drag. Add that to getting involved in early morning band rehearsals or soccer practices, we dreaded the morning devotions. Often times were just out-right disrespectful. We didn’t want to be late, and we didn’t want to participate.
We were your stereotypical Pastor’s Kids.
Thinking back about what I could have learned from that, I decided to try and do my devotions and read my bible in the morning on my own, before the kids would wake up so that when they came to breakfast, they would at least see what I was doing. This worked for a small period of time, but I’ve since been sleeping in more since we moved…and there we have the instant accountability, I shall resume tomorrow. Promise.
Besides my morning devotional/bible time, every morning the two girls and I get in the car and head out so I can drop them off at school. Somewhere in that 1 mile of road and 3 traffic lights, we take a minute to say a quick prayer. I ask, “What or who do we need to pray for?” to which the girls respond with either a “I dunno,” or a “nothing?” As my heart sinks for just a tiny bit, I’m reminded that at this moment I’m doing this more to show them how important it is to have that communication with God, no matter the time constraint. We normally do our longer family prayers at night, and they’re usually around the dinner table.
Before last night, I would doubt they would think anything even close to how “important” that first thing of the day communication with God, is.
Before last night, I didn’t get a confirmation that what I was doing was anywhere remotely correct.
While going to the girls rooms to give them their hugs and kisses and to tuck them in bed, I walked inside of Kissy’s room and she’s sitting up. Here’s how our conversation went:
Kiss: “Dad, we forgot to pray this morning before school.”
Me: “Oh man, how did we forget? I’m really sorry.”
Kiss: “It’s ok, let’s pray right now. I’ll pray.”
As she prayed and thanked God for her friends and our family, I couldn’t help but to just say my own little prayer thanking God for showing me my efforts are not in vain.
Although He never has to do this (confirm), it sure helps.
Regardless if you are a Christian or not, if you are a parent you have to appreciate this effort not going unnoticed. It doesn’t happen often, and when it does your heart does the macarena.
Or just says “yipee!”
Whether the confirmation took a day, a week or even a couple of months, has a parenting choice that you made unexpectedly confirm to be the right one? What little dance did your heart do?
Okay, that is really cool. Every so often Ethan will do share with a stranger or pray for someone and it totally rocks me.
Share with a stranger? That’s awesome, unless it’s your ice cream, then it’s just weird and gross.
That is awesome. Loved reading this. It’s cute… when I ask my youngest if she’ll pray… she’ll say, “Mimi, Papi, Mimi, Amen.” Over and over…
Sometimes I feel that way about discipline. We’ll do things over and over again, thinking “Is this even working?” And then our oldest will say something like, “I’m sorry Daddy… I will stay in bed.” (or whatever it is) and, like you, I’ll get a little gentle confirmation from God… quite nice, actually.
I remember when our girls used to do that, just repeat the same words in the prayer over and over, then say “amen.” So cute!
My children are obsessed by praying (giving thanks) for their food. Since they were small, we have dinner at the dinner table. No TV, no movies, just us. We would pray and give thanks for food. My youngest, sometimes takes the imitative to pray before going to bed. He would pray, “God thank you for the chicken, the rice, the juice and the potatoes. Thank you for the gummy bears, etc.”
He would just go on and on about food. Then before he ends, he says, “oh and for my family”. I guess the kid has his priorities in order. Food before family. 🙂
This is a great post Ben. There’s no doubt that your children are seeing a great man of God as their dad. Even if he digs his android OS. 😀
You just had to dig didn’t you, I guess it’s been a while so that’s ok.
Typical boy prayer: “thanks for the beans, the rice, the chicken, the coke, the rice, the chicken, the beans…oh and thank you for mommy and daddy. The end.”
Don’t you just love it! I agree with Dustin, alot of it is just getting them into the discipline of making it a part of your day. If you start the day with the Lord then you are more likely to see His handiwork throughout the day. Kind of like starting your day with coffee it perks you up to be more alert.
Oh man, starting my day with God AND Coffee has been an ultimate win every day!
You have been a confirmation throughout your life…..that God answers prayers….that God’s Word grows in the lives of you and your children.
Isaiah 55:11 (NLT)
I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
Moe couldn’t have said it better.
Be Blessed today and Keep the faith!
Thanks dad, you know it was nothin’ against you, right? We were such brats, lol
Absolutely not, son. No brats….at least you didn’t deal drugs, steal, smoke weed, gangs…wait, where did I hear that before?!?!? LOL Love you son.
Oh man. I love this. I pray with/over Gabe every night before he goes to sleep. He’s barely 2, but I’m praying that some of it sticks. Awesome stuff man.
It’s almost as if the repetition becomes such a habit that they won’t know what to do without it. At least that’s what I’m hoping.
Oh, and I changed your name from “Levin” to “Kevin,” but can change it back if you want. I just assumed it was an accident… lol
I guess everyone is different but when I get those confirmations, my heart does the “Cha Cha Slide”. No kiddos yet, but I’m sure when they come, we’ll be doing putting our “hands on ya knees, hands on ya knees!”
Left foot left stomp?
That’s awesome. I love watching kids display their faith. It helps rejuvenate mine.
Totally, this is exactly what I’m talking about.
Love this. We pray with Bryce every night. he really does not get it yet, but he is getting better at God is Great God is Good, before we eat…
I love listening to my nieces and nephews pray because they thank God for the simplest things that often as an adult I will take for granted and net ever think to give thanks for.
Give thanks in all you do and with a grateful heart! Amen.
I’m so proud of my daughter. She now goes to school halfway across the country. She has a great head on her shoulders. Not sure how much credit I can take for that, but my wife and I are very grateful and feel very blessed. She’s also a great influence on her younger brothers.
I can’t wait till the day I can say the same kind of stuff about my daughters, and son. Oh wait, never mind I will wait, it can wait. My oldest is only 10, she can stay right there…
My heart is smiling as a father, and my spirit jumps as a son. What a blessing you are giving to your children, being the father they need, as a son who knows. Amazing. Truly, amazing. Our Father knows what He’s doing with you, that’s for sure!
With tears in my eyes (more on that maybe tomorrow) I thank you for the affirmation. God absolutely knows what He is doing with me!
My heart has danced a few times because of this. I think it’s usually the moonwalk.
YES! Moonwalk = winning.
Dude, way to get a softy Dad to choke up on his lunch break. Jerk. 🙂
What a great story. Thank you for sharing.
This year I’ve really tried to focus on praying with L.K. and the kids at least once a day. I feel convicted, but find a sense of joy when they remind me to pray.
Ha, man I tell you I was like this all day, especially reading the comments, emails, DM’s and @ replies from the “To The Child” post.
The reminders are always the best.