He and his wife took an entire family under their wings, living side-by-side in apartments, in order to help the family remain intact. They helped raised the three kids from infancy to adulthood: coaching them through school, serving them nutritious meals, planning birthday and holiday celebrations, and modeling godly family living. Yet at the end, the kids resented the structure and guidelines my friends had enforced.
This man understood my heart because he too had walked in the trenches of SAFE parenting. But one day, as I bemoaned the choices my teen and adult children were making, and doubted I’d ever see my kids reflect the values my husband and I attempted to instill in them, this man gently challenged me.
“What if you started speaking of your children not as they appear, but as the people God has designed them to be?”
He offered that I talked about my children according to God’s promises. Then he shared a clip from Romans 4:17, “call those things which do not exist as though they did.”
This is what Abraham did. God had promised he and Sarah would bear a child. But it took God ten years to fulfill that promise. Ten years to fulfill a promise! Okay, then. That adds another measure to the faith journey.
So, moms, I now encourage you. God has brought these children into our lives for a reason. He has purposes for each of them. We may not know the specifics of His plans, but we know enough about His character and His promises to speak confidently over our children.
We can speak obediently according to Philippians 4:8 by focusing on what’s
of good report
in our children’s lives. I know it may be hard to find things in all of these areas—maybe even in most of these areas. But, I also know that our children have at least a handful of positive qualities that we can focus on.
What better time of year to give thanks for the good in our children that represent God’s work in their lives? We need to post those kind of thoughts between our eyes so that’s what we see first in them (instead of their shortcomings). Massage them into our hearts so that pride and love and hope is what overflows into our words (instead of fear, disappointment, and resentment).
Bottom line: when we speak negatively we are revealing our lack of trust in our—in their—Heavenly Father. When we speak positively, especially according to God’s Truth, we are letting the world—both seen and unseen—know where our confidence lies. We may not have reason to have a whole lot of confidence in our kids at this point in time. But, we always—always—have a cornucopia-load of reasons to place 100 percent of our confidence in God.
That’s what giving thanks does for us. It draws our attention away from what’s lacking and allows us to rejoice in the bounty. And truthfully, that abundance is sitting right in front of us—obvious, beautiful, and gloriously displayed on the dining room table of our spirits.