Sunday, October 21, 2012

31 Days of Repetitive Parenting: Day 21 "What do ya think God wants ya to do?"

Faith is an integral part of our family and, therefore, greatly influences our parenting style.  From early on we have taught our kids to look to God in prayer, study His Word and seek to glorify the Lord in their lives.

With Cupcake, we remind her of what God wants her to do: listen to Mommy and Daddy, be nice to her friends and share her toys.  These are principals of living which we have gleaned from scripture and translated into toddler lingo.

When we have noticed that our youngster may be on the brink of throwing a fit, we may gently remind, “What do ya think God wants ya to do?”  During the early years, we offer an answer, “God wants you to listen to Mommy” or “God wants you to be kind to your brother.”  As they have grown, we have expected slightly more mature and thoughtful answers from them.

“What do ya think God wants ya to do?” has been a great question to use with our teens as they struggle with the decision making process.  Which college to attend?  Who to date?  How to spend money?  God may not answer those questions directly in the Bible, but He sure does give us guidelines to help us make wise decisions and help us guide our children to make wiser choices.

Of course, the question comes in handy with less life changing decisions.  Sometimes we have needed to remind our teens that having devotions when they are supposed to be setting the table for dinner, may not have been the best timing.  We are thrilled to see them reading the Bible on their own, but pretty sure God does not want them to neglect their family responsibilities to do so.  The scripture reference of,  “to obey is better than sacrifice,” comes to mind!

Now, I’m not a fan of the WWJD craze.  I think the, “What would Jesus do?” question is a bit different.  He is God, so He is obviously going to do the right thing!  We, on the other hand, are sinners who can strive to be more Christlike in our daily living only through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, I prefer asking my kids, “What do ya think God wants ya to do?”  This requires thought and prayer to discover direction and encourages seeking the Lord in all types of situations.

Not only is this a helpful question to ask our kids, but is something we need to continually ask ourselves. Having gotten into the habit of reminding them to consider what God would want, we, in turn, remind ourselves to do the same.

"What do ya think God wants ya to do?"  Bears repeating on a daily basis.

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