We are launching a series of posts today where I will be sharing how I at times in my life I was more successful in my career as a pastor than I was in my calling as a parent. Our prayer is that God will use my mistakes to help you grow as a parent.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on The Moments that Make Us. I shared with you that our son Micah recently found out that because Trisha and I chose for him to repeat 7th grade when we moved to Nashville, he was ineligible to play basketball this season as a freshman. His response to that news was simply amazing. He handled the whole situation with grace and class.
I met with the Micah’s coach and athletic director and asked if I could write a letter of appeal and ask that they reconsider their decision. They agreed to support our decision and come along side of us as we fought for Micah is this situation. I wrote the letter, sent it to the school and they sent the letter along to the state of Tennessee. Last Wednesday, we found out that Micah’s appeal was granted and he is eligible to play this season. The athletic director said to me, “I really admire your desire to fight for your son. I love the heart you have for him.”
Thinking through this whole situation, I was reminded of how much easier it is to fight for my son to play basketball, than it is to fight for him spiritually. Which brings me to the first mistake I wanted to share with you today.
1. I prayed for other peoples’ kids, but didn’t pray for my own kids.
There is a battle for going on every single minute of every single day. It is a spiritual battle. The Bible says that it isn’t against flesh and blood but against forces that we can’t see or touch; but are very real. There have been so many times as a parent that I have taken that battle for granted. I have not fought for my kids spiritually.
If someone at my church asked me to pray for their kids, I was all over it. But I failed so often to pray for my own kids. I would say the night time prayers that would accompany a bedtime story, but I rarely spent time laying hands on them and praying for them. I didn’t pray for their day. I didn’t pray for their decisions. I didn’t ask God to give them wisdom. I didn’t pray for protection. I didn’t pray for their future. I didn’t pray for them. Flat out.
It is so much easier for me to fight for my son to be eligible to play basketball than it is to fight for his heart spiritually.
Prayer changes things. It may sound churchy; it may sound hokey; it may sound weird. But when I pray for my kids, I am engaging in battle for them. I am allowing God to open my eyes to see them and the world they live in with fresh eyes.
Succeeding as a parent today may be as simple as spending some time fighting for your child’s heart through prayer.
What are your thoughts on praying for your kids?