Reaching The Hearts Of Our Children For Such A Time As This
Let me begin with a few questions that I came face-to-face with and had to answer honestly when the Lord brought me through this years ago. Before I could even begin to reach the hearts of my children for Jesus in a deeper way, I had to wrestle through these questions myself. Though my children are now all grown and each have children of their own, it’s my opinion that we will always be faced with the very same questions.
These questions will be ongoing throughout our lifetime; as long as we are here on this earth, OUR LIVES will speak the answers to each question by the way we live out our days.
This is not meant to be a guilt-producing blog post. When the Lord gave it to me, I found it to be a gentle, loving, wake-up call from my Abba Father. He loves us so much and wants us to reach the hearts of our kids for Him. He knows that’s not an easy undertaking! He gives us each other to bring encouragement along the way and provide us the oomph we need to press on as we wrestle with the more difficult parenting challenges.
Reaching the hearts of our children for Jesus can be a bit of a challenge! So here we go!
# 1-What is most important to you in this day in which we live?
# 2-What is it that drives your heart?
# 3-What would your children say is the motivating force of your life?
Is it the “cares of this world”? Possibly material goods and the finer things? Is it the fear of losing all you have with worry over an unstable economy?
If any of those, or perhaps other things, are your driving, motivating force then that’s the way your children will see you. Whatever drives us…our kids will see it, and chances are they may mirror our lives as they grow.
They know us best. We can’t fool them. They watch us like hawks and hang on our every word…our every move. Even at times when we may feel like they don’t notice us…trust me, they do!!
Personally speaking, the reason I think the Lord wanted me to answer these questions is because, in His wisdom, He knew that I could never impart something to my children that wasn’t real to me. If I didn’t OWN the reality of what I’m about to share…then how could I ever expect my kids to embrace it? Remember…they see me for who I truly am and they know what motivates my heart.
Let me start with my journey in all of this:
One of the most precious things the Lord ever did for me was to give me what I call Eternal Vision.
It took a crisis for me to come to this understanding. It was the illness and loss of my dear mother that woke me up to a deeper reality. Suddenly it was so clear to me that Heaven was a breath away, that eternity had already begun, and the Lord had specific things for me to do. In those years of caring for her, I saw first-hand how fleeting life is and I felt so strongly that there had to be more I was meant to do-something deeper. I wanted everything I did this side of Heaven to matter to Jesus. Not only did I want everything I did to make a difference for eternity, I ached to have my children and grandchildren capture that same vision, spending their lives living it out!
Fulfilling God’s plans and purposes for my life and your life!
Knowing for sure He has specific plans for each of us!
The reality of this . . . owning this ourselves . . . brings LIFE and HOPE to our hearts!
If there's one thing our children need, no matter what their age, it’s hope! Hope can be easily lacking in their hearts (and our own) because of the day in which we live with all that’s going on around us. Our children need hope, and many of them lack it.
I bet if we took a poll and promised the children that they could answer honestly without anyone knowing what their answer was, many of them would admit that they ARE frightened about the day in which we live.
Many would admit they're afraid of what it will be like in society when they reach adulthood.
Will I be able to get a job?
Will I get married and have children?
Will the institute of marriage even still be relevant?
What will our nation be like?
Will our nation be further divided?
Will I be safe as a Christian?
These and many other questions plague the hearts of many today. Adults, teens, and even our young children sense that daily life and its meaning feels unsure right now.
So what will calm their hearts and even our own? What will bring lasting comfort and change for them? What can we give them that will bring hope? What can we, as their parents and grandparents, give them that will ignite their hearts?
Here’s what the Lord did for me many decades ago:
1) He made it crystal clear to me that He is a Sovereign God.
2) He’s not scrambling for Plan B.
3) He’s not up in Heaven wringing His hands.
4) Even in the midst of all the chaos, He has specific plans.
Specific plans and purposes for me, for my husband, and for each of my children and grandchildren if they are willing to love Him and to allow Him to use them for His Kingdom purposes.
Once we share this with them, and it becomes a living reality in their dear hearts, their passion will be searching out what the Lord’s purposes are for them and how He is calling them to walk His purposes out in their day-to-day lives.
There’s NOTHING MORE EXCITING than to choose to be in the very center of God’s will for our lives even in the difficult days. And certainly there will be more than a few trials, I am sure. But that’s okay. Jesus promises, even in the storms of this life, He will never leave us or forsake us. For that, I am most grateful.
Our children need to know that their lives count…to us…and even so much more than knowing that…they need to realize they truly count to Jesus.
They are very precious to Him and He longs for them to be willing to walk out His plans for their life and fulfill their destiny.
What are we speaking into their lives each day?
What are we speaking into their lives by our own life message?
We can never call back yesterday but if you haven’t always spoken life, don’t despair! Just remember that we have a PROMISE given to us by our precious Lord, that His mercies are NEW every morning. As a mom and grandma, I am so grateful for His mercy, especially when it comes to my parenting.
I don’t think there’s a day that goes by that I don’t remember His new mercies. I’m frequently amazed at His patience with me. I trust He shows that same patience with you, too.
So no condemnation. I’m so grateful we can ask for and receive His grace and fresh wind to move forward.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of our daily lives and lose sight of the very first calling we have as parents. The Lord calls us daily to live out His love for each of our children so that they, in turn, following our example, can come to the living reality of who Jesus is, living their lives for what truly matters to Him and for eternity!
That’s the greatest cry of my heart for each of my children, my grands, and my greats! That they will KNOW HIM and follow hard after Him all the days of their lives!
There have been times where I’ve felt that I’ve lost the ability to speak life and hope depending on the circumstances we’ve found ourselves and our children in. But don’t believe the lie that you’ve lost the ability to speak TRUTH.
…As long as we have breath…
We can still now and always speak life and hope to the hearts of our children.
We can speak the truth that God has a plan beyond what we can see.
We can speak the truth that he has a greater plan that our children can be a part of if they are willing.
We can speak the truth that they are alive at this moment in history "for such a time as this." (Esther 4:14)
God has a plan and He needs His people to be willing to be world-changers!
To live a “no compromise” life for Him!
For reasons of clarity let me define what I mean by being a “world-changer."
I’m not necessarily talking about getting on a platform and bringing the Gospel to 10,000 people—although wouldn’t that be wonderful?
I’m talking about living a “no compromise” life—being the Lord’s light in whatever circles He may have us in. He calls us to be living out His love, which in turn washes the hearts of many we have contact with. For me, now at this season in my life, I’m having the joy of sowing love and life into the hearts of my children and grandchildren. I consider that being a world-changer!
So when I get up, I look at my day and I give it to the Lord, and I ask Him to give me all I need to be able to show His love to those He has me share my time with. Now, if we do what He’s asked us to do, our eternity is affected whether or not someone responds to the Lord’s love.
So being a world-changer is loving the Lord, loving others, and doing what He calls us to do with a whole heart, joyfully, as unto Him. We deliberately live life for His glory, trusting Jesus for the outcome. It’s in knowing that it’s God loving and working through our lives in the hearts of others.
Whether on a world stage like Billy Graham or standing at the kitchen sink, stopping what you’re doing to wipe tears and comfort a tiny heart, or somewhere in between…it’s being His heart and hands extended to whoever He brings into our circles.
Now believe me, children long for something worth living for and when they grasp the treasure given to them in life with Jesus, they’ll be willing not only to live for it, but to die for it as well, should it ever come to that.
They will BECOME that picture of HOPE to those dear ones who, as of yet, have no hope! We live in a frightened world where countless people are lost. But we have a message that brings LIFE both NOW and for ETERNITY! Can we walk in these shoes in our own strength? Well, I know for certain that I cannot! But we can assure ourselves and our children that when God saves and calls, He also EQUIPS us for the work He has for us to do. So together let’s impart LIFE and HOPE with our words TO and ABOUT our children and grandchildren, prayerfully reaching their hearts for what truly matters to Jesus. Then quietly stand back, and wait on the Lord as we trust Him for their precious lives.
Remember this…the outcome is the Lord’s concern. As long as we do all we are called to do we can rest in Him, knowing His love for each of our children is FAR GREATER than the love we hold in our hearts. We can trust Him with their lives.
Let me end by saying this: life is fleeting!
So I, for one, am committed to living my life like time is short…because it is!
Heaven is forever!
What we do here really matters for eternity.
So together let’s pray for the courage, the faith, the love, and the strength we need as mothers, grandmothers, and women to follow hard after God, making a difference for eternity by the lives we live for Him. May all who come behind us truly find that we’ve been faithful.
As I’m reading and re-reading this before I publish it, I had lyrics on my heart from a song Steve Green sang years ago. The title and lyrics are so worth sharing. It’s my hope you will go to YouTube and listen to it.
“May All Who Come Behind Us Find Us Faithful”.
We’re pilgrims on the journey of the narrow road,
and those who’ve gone before us line the way.
Cheering on the faithful,
encouraging the weary, their lives a stirring testament
to God’s sustaining grace.
O’ may all who come behind us
find us faithful;
may the fire of our devotion
light their way.
May the footprints that we leave
lead them to believe,
and the lives we live
inspire them to obey.
O’ may all who come behind us
find us faithful.
Surrounded by so great
a cloud of witnesses,
let us run the race
not only for the prize.
But as those who’ve gone before us,
let us leave to those behind us,
the heritage of faithfulness
passed on through godly lives.
After all our hopes and dreams
have come and gone,
and our children sift through all
we’ve left behind,
may the clues that they discover,
and the mem’ries they uncover,
become the light that leads them,
to the road we each must find.
Lord Jesus, may we have children, grandchildren, and great grand children that follow hard after You! Thank you, Lord!
On this journey together,