Every one of us wants the best for our children. We labor and toil under tough circumstances to ensure that they at least have something to eat. Sometimes, as much as we try, we as parents get weary.
We begin to question whether we are good enough for the little ones God has blessed us with.
The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” God has commanded us who are blessed with children to be their guider. It is our responsibility to see them grow up with good moral values.
Parenting prayers offer the foundation for becoming a better parent. In this article, we shall learn how to use prayers as a tool for becoming a better parent.
1.- Seeking God First
God is the supreme ruler over the heavens and earth. It is only through His will that we can do things. The mere fact that you are a parent means God has allowed you to be one. Many out there are struggling to be parents but it is not working out.
Deuteronomy 6: 4-7 says “Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home, and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you wake up.”
God has commanded us as parents first to know and honor Him. We are then expected to make sure that our kids also grow up knowing God is our only LORD. It is, therefore, our duty as parents to make sure that our kids seek God.
We can help our kids to know God through prayers. This is through asking God to strengthen us so that we can inculcate the teachings to our children earlier on.
2.- Unconditional Love
Parenting is tough especially when you have more than one child. Children are very sensitive creatures. The way you treat them shapes how they think, what moral values they pick up and how they will behave when they become adults.
Loving them is therefore paramount. This kind of love is not just any kind of loving. It must be unconditional. Kids should not be made to feel as if they need to do something to be loved by their parents.
Fortunately, one of the best ways to learn unconditional love is through prayers. We can become better parents by asking God to fill our hearts with unconditional love.
1 John 4:10 says ” This is real love- not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”
As parents, we should ask for the kind of love described in 1st John. Just as God loves the world to the extent of sacrificing His son for it, parents should love their kids in the same way. A child who grows up loved will radiate the same feeling to the world.
3.- Examine what You Expect from the Child
Through the power of praying, you can manage what you expect from children. This is what the Bible says in 1st Corinthians 13:11. “When I was a child, I spoke and reasoned like a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.”
Parents naturally want what is best for their children. Sometimes parents blur this line with expecting their children to be the best in every situation. This is regardless of the task at hand.
I once encountered a parent who was scolding his five-year-old boy harshly. The child had droplets of urine on his pants. Just a little bit, not the kind of magnitude that would make people around him uncomfortable.
The parent was furious that he had already taught the kid how to use washrooms. It was very disheartening to witness this event. We should let children be children. Allow them to make small mistakes.
When they grow up, they will be better off. If you happen to be a parent whose expectation of the child is higher than normal, parenting prayers might help. Ask God to fill your heart with the kind of love that He has for the world. Then practice this love on your child. It will help improve your parenting skills.
4.- Avoid Comparisons
As a child, I had two friends who were non-identical twins. These friends had personalities that were worlds apart. One was very reserved and introverted. The other happens to be bubbly and extroverted, always talking about this or that.
On matters of education, the introverted friend was among the top performers. He was always the first or among the top three in their class. The extroverted one was an average performer in the class. At their home, intellectual prowess was cherished more than anything else.
The parents to my two friends began treating the children differentially. My introverted friend was showered with praises and adoration for his excellent learning abilities. The extroverted one was often ignored during such conversations.
Over time, the extroverted friend began exhibiting depression tendencies. He was no longer bubbly and he seemed to bear some resentment towards his brother. He was also detached from the home. In most cases, he would choose friendly functions over family functions.
Most parents have more than one kid. The worst mistake you can do is to compare these kids. It does not matter whether the comparison is direct or indirect. Children are very sharp, they will notice.
Another form of comparison is the one that included a child, not of your blood. You might fancy the neighbor’s child more than your child. This is disastrous. Comparison breeds feelings of jealousy and resentment in our children. Avoid making comparisons if you want to be a better parent.
Galatians 6:4-5 says “pay careful attention to your work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our conduct.”
Through prayers, let us ask God to help us tend to our children without looking at what the neighbor’s children are doing or being done for.
5.- Putting God Honoring Attitude Above Humanly Attribute
According to 1st Samuel 16:17, the Lord says, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
It is clear from the verse that God considers humanly attributes as vanity. The way a person talks, dresses or lives should not define him. What defines a person is a heart. What values do they have? Do they possess the fruits of the Holy Spirit?
As parents, there is a need to teach children to value what is in the heart of a person. We need to help our children grow without putting too much emphasis on materialistic things. The only way to help a child grow this way is through raising the child in God’s teachings.
As a parent, these core values can be taught through prayer. Pray to God so that He blesses your child with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to fill you with these core values through prayer. Your child emulates your values. So you must possess such values as well.
6.- Admit Mistakes
No one is perfect in this world. Even parents make mistakes sometimes. Mistakes are part of life’s journey so you should not feel bad if you make one.
Mistakes become harmful when we do not admit to them. This is a common weakness for most people. We believe that we are infallible. We believe that we are the perfect ones while those that are around us are the ones on the wrong.
James 5:16 says this about mistakes. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
As a parent, you can use the power of praying to help you be able to admit to your mistakes. Confess your sins to God through prayers. Use parenting prayers to ask God to help you acknowledge mistakes to your children when you commit them.
A parent who admits making mistakes to his child has a great advantage. The child will grow up knowing that mistakes are normal and universal to everyone. Admitting them would thus be easy. It is easier to guide such a child on how to live accordingly in this world.
Prayer is a Powerful Tool
Prayers can change the trajectory of our lives for the better. Parenting prayers are particularly helpful in helping us to become a better parent.
Through these prayers. A parent gets insight on how to raise a child according to God’s way. These prayers help parents to navigate any obstacle in the parenting journey.
If you are a parent on the lookout for tools that might improve your parenting skills, consider prayers. You will be amazed by the wisdom packaged in every biblical passage.