A couple of years ago I began to feel a huge burden over the lives of my children. I felt like God was telling me that I needed to do more as their mom. He pressed on my heart to be intentional about praying for my kids and so every day, I prayed. I didn’t know exactly what God was asking of me, but I do know He was making me realize that my time with them is short and I needed to be more intentional in praying for them.
You can read the post here. I encourage you to read it. It has so much of what I have on my heart right now and struggling to put into words.
I always pray for my kids, but just like God did a couple of years ago, He is doing again. He has placed this huge burden again on my heart for my kids. And if I’m being honest, the focus is on the older two right now. They are in 6th and 7th grade, 13 and 12 and right in the midst of those dreaded middle school years.
If I can be honest, we’ve had a tough year. Not terrible, but tough. I feel like the enemy is roaming around trying to find ways to distract our children. It’s like this black cloud is looming over them. On Sunday at church our pastor asked those who needed a miracle in their life to come forward so that he could pray for them. We’d had a bit of a rough morning with one of our kiddos so I was super emotional. I looked over at Joseph and with tears in my eyes I told him that we needed to go to the front and have our pastor pray for our kids.
Now let me say, I have three amazing kiddos. They haven’t done anything out of the ordinary for teenage kids, but I do see the struggle in their lives. The struggle of growing up and being in their teen years. The struggle of trying to find their significance and acceptance in their peers instead of in Jesus. I also see their hearts hurt when they feel left out or rejected and for a momma heart that is crushing.
I know that when God puts a burden on my heart, I must pray. In the book, Church of the Small Things the author says this, “I know the darkness wants to come for our kids. I know that evil is everywhere and looking for a chance to whisper to them that they are less than, that they’re inadequate, that they’ll never be enough, and that their lives don’t matter.” (Pg. 104)
This terrifies me. The thought of the enemy trying to entice my kids to believe his lies brings a fear into my soul that I’ve never experienced before.
As an adult, social media can be hard. I can get caught up in the comparison trap when I see the pretty, filtered and perfect pictures of someone else’s house, body and life. I can fall into the trap of believing that what I have to offer isn’t good enough and I’m not pretty or skinny enough. I can also fall into the trap of assumption and rejection. I can assume that I’m rejected when I see everyone at a get together that I didn’t receive the invite to. This is me, as an adult. I am almost 40 years old and when I am not careful, social media crushes my heart and I begin to believe the lies the enemy is throwing at me. So think about how our kids feel as they scroll through their social media. If it affects us this much, you know it affects them so much more!
This isn’t a debate over if kids should have social media or not. That is totally a decision for each parent and honestly I don’t think there’s a general right answer. What ever you choose for your family is YOUR right answer and that’s ok.
More than ever, I am feeling the saying that the days are long and the years are short. Everyone was right when they said these middle school years would fly by and now I have an 8th grader who is closer to high school every single day. The realization that I have less than five years with him in my house before he goes off to college is beginning to sink in. Shoot, it’s not beginning to sink in. It’s there!
So what do we do? How do we keep our kids from falling off the way of the Lord?
Well, we can’t keep them from falling. They aren’t perfect, neither are we! They will fall, they will mess up and make mistakes. But we can choose to love them through those failures and mistakes just as our Heavenly Father loves us. We can show them the love of Jesus by loving them regardless of what they do.
I also think that now more than ever we must remind our kids that their true identity and security are found in Christ. They need to believe that they are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for them to do (Ephesians 2:10). I think this is especially important for our girls. Tell your kids how beautiful they are and how God created them fearfully and wonderfully. Instill in them the confidence in knowing that they do not need to seek the attention of their peers to feel loved. They not only have our love, but the love of Christ Jesus.
Most importantly, we need to pray for our kids. We must take time every single day and be intentional about going to God and interceding for these precious gifts that He’s given to us. Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have, but at times it’s the one we use the least. Be bold, be persistent, be specific and pray for your kids. Cry out to God. Tell Him their struggles and ask God to help them. Ask God to protect their heart, mind and eyes from whatever the enemy throws their way.
Yes, it’s true, darkness is after our children. It’s true that the enemy is looming around them, but you know what else is true? Our God is near to them and He is protecting them from evil. He is shielding them from harm, but we must do our part and pray. Will we keep troubles away? No. Troubles will come. But they won’t go through them alone. God will always be on their side.
My dad and mom prayed for me every single day. My mom still continues to pray for me and I know that their prayers kept me from so much. I was led astray, I was the rebellious child, but in the end I still chose Jesus. I always came back to what was true. The troubles and hardships that I experienced shaped me into who I am today and are now helping me parent my own children. In a way, I understand their struggles because I went through them too.
I don’t know if this encouraged you today, but I hope it did. Honestly, I have so much going on in my head and my heart, but I’m having trouble typing it all out. I do know this, I am not alone and neither are you. We are all in this same struggle of raising good kids who love the Lord. We are all carrying similar burdens. So take heart today in knowing that you are not the only one struggling with this. And remember that in your struggles, God is with you. Our troubles may seem big, but we serve a God who is bigger. Our fears don’t scare him one bit and He goes before us in everything we encounter. Rest in that today.
I am praying Numbers 6:24-25 over my children every day just like my daddy prayed over me and I invite you to do the same.
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”
May God’s presence go before us, behind us, beside us, all around us and within us. Remember this: God is for you.
Love you, friends. Thank you for reading along and letting me spill my heart ❤️.