No one ever told me how hard it would be to raise children! I just pictured bringing home a precious bundle of joy from the hospital, and having a happy family. Little did I realize all the areas of parenting that require determination AND effort.
My husband and I realized early on in our parenting, that it’s NOT as easy as it looks!
Following the Biblical command to bring our kids up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord takes time, and work! However, our kids are worth every bit of that effort, and by it we are investing in eternity.
6 Key Areas That Require Your Effort:
1. Determine your goals or destination.
What are your goals in teaching and training your children, as you raise them? What do you want to accomplish in the 18 years they are in your home?
It’s important to know what your destination is, so you can determine if you heading in the right direction.
2. Determine to do what it takes to reach those goals.
Parenting is HARD WORK. Having kids that love the Lord and have Godly character, doesn’t just happen. It takes planning, effort, time, training, and encouraging for many years.
Sometimes it gets hard, or you get tired. You have to remember those goals, and determine to do what it takes to accomplish them.
3. Determine not to be distracted.
It is so easy to let “good things” distract us from working to achieve our goals in raising our kids.
Sometimes we let activities and busyness distract us from what really matters. We get so busy in those things, that we end up neglecting our priorities.
You have to live each day with eternity’s values in view. That is what will keep you focused, and help you refuse to be distracted.
4. Determine to be self-disciplined.
Sometimes it will take self-discipline to avoid the things that distract us, or to choose the things that matter.
It takes discipline to:
- Spend time with your kids when you’d rather be doing other things
- Give up your plans for their needs
- Limit the amount of time you allow them to spend on TV, and video games
- Monitor their friendships
- Protect them in the area of boy/girl relationships
- Make time to walk with God daily
Determine that you will discipline yourself to do what matters!
5. Determine to be desperate.
In Genesis 32 we read the story of how Jacob wrestled God, and wouldn’t let go unless He blessed him.
As parents, we need the desperation that keeps us fighting, and not letting go when parenting gets tough. We need to be willing to do whatever it takes to keep our kids, and protect them.
Related: GOOD PARENTING IS NOT A SACRIFICE
6. Determine to depend on God.
Often we don’t get desperate enough to depend on God like we should, but we have a God in heaven Who wants us to depend on Him always.
I have shared this quote often: “We need to work as though it all depends on us, but pray as though it all depends on Him.”
It’s wonderful to know that when we feel desperate or unable, we don’t have to do it on our own! When we feel like we’re failing or struggling, and are concerned about our kids, we can depend on God to help us, and to give us wisdom and strength.
I LOVE this quote by Stormie O’Martian, and I think is so important to remember this:
“The battle for our children’s lives is waged on our knees. When you pray for your child, do it as if you are interceding for his or her life, because that is exactly what you are doing. You’re fighting the devil. When we regularly and consistently come before the Lord on behalf of our family, we are acknowledging our dependence on Him to work in their lives.”
Will you join me today in determining to put forth the effort in these 6 areas? Let’s put forth the effort that our kids deserve, and be good stewards as we raise the children God has entrusted to our care.
It won’t always be easy, but it is definitely worth it!