Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12
Tonight I was able to capture what happens on a daily basis in our household. Our mission as parents is to raise up our children in the faith. Teaching them about the truth of the gospel and the freedom that comes with it. Our daily prayer is that the Lord would find favor with our children and that they would grow in wisdom to become mighty warriors in His army, deeply devoted to and in love with their Savior. We pray that He places a burning fire within their hearts to go forth and make disciples of all nations through love and kindness.
So how do we teach this you might ask? Well, mostly we pray A TON with them, teaching them to pray and showing them how we pray. On Pinterest (I love me some Pinterest!) I found this really cute idea for a prayer pail. For us, it’s a prayer cup because we don’t have a pail. We write the names of anyone we want to pray for on Popsicle sticks and place them in the cup (Our daughter helped us with this list of names). Then every time we sit down at the table to pray Azy will draw one stick out and that’s who we pray for. It’s so hard for her to only pick out one name, she often grabs a whole handful proclaiming, “Mama, who dis, pray.”
Tonight we prayed for our good friend John and we added in G-Daddy (grandpa’s name).
We are constantly listening to our “Jesus music” and often when she hears the name Jesus Azy will start singing Jesus Loves Me (her favorite song). When we are in the car she will point to the visor where all the CD’s are and say “Mama, Daddy, Jesus?” asking for her Hillsongs CD to be put in.
Though we are not perfect at this, and we could be way better, we nightly read our Jesus book (Bible) or some story books about God. Right now her favorite books are God Bless My Boo Boo and God Made Me This Way.
One of the biggest concepts that Christ teaches time and time again throughout scripture is kindness and love. “And now these three remain, faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:13 Even in the secular world, being kind is a “good thing” to do. Good thing God imprinted these concepts on our hearts when we were created (Rom. 2:14-16).
So in our home we do kindness. We are constantly teaching Azy what is kind and what is unkind. Taking a toy from your brother when he is playing with it is unkind, please give it back and play with something else. Sharing Kiya’s bunny with him is very kind and so nice, thank you. Now taking that bunny right back after you gave it to him is not kind, please ask him nicely if you can have it back and I’m sure he will share (especially since little brother is only 3 months old and doesn’t really care about the bunny.) If she is asking for something and you say, “How do we be kind?”. She will then say please in the most heart melting voice.
“Parenting is about teaching, not about punishing.” This is the most powerful saying that I have heard recently. Children are not born knowing how to do things. Their brain must develop over time, and they must be taught how to be kind and considerate. How to share and how to eat with a spoon and not shove food all up in their hair after you have just given them a bath (true story my friends). God tells us this in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” It may take a long time, and a lot of frustration, but God blessed us with these little ones and with the opportunity to train them in His ways so they will not leave His side when they are older.
In our house we do prayer, we do Jesus, and we do kindness. Even to elephants named Flappy…