Our home is a lively one—filled with boisterous, loud, talkative people. We talk about everything from the best parts of our day to the worst. We talk about our futures and we speak straight to our kids about the challenges they face ahead. Sometimes our conversations are steeped in emotion and sometimes the words turn cold and rigid with hurt.
As I found myself fraught with anger and frustration about the ways my children were behaving, or how I was handling it, God spoke an invitation to me… “Turn them over to Me. Tell them less of what you think and let Me name them. Let Me draw out the sin, repair their hearts and show them who I made them to be.”
Slowly, our language is changing around here. We began to talk about our poor decisions like mud on our hearts. Instead of lecturing, we shared with our children that God wanted to clean them. We’d share time together writing letters to God asking Him to clean us of our sin. What began to grow in our children, was an understanding that we all are in need of a Savior. Without the gift of this Savior, Jesus, who died on a cross for all of our messy, dirty, yucky places in our hearts, we would be forever lost—but the good news is, He found us!
The other good news is that we are beginning to see that in dealing with bad behavior, our role as parents is to facilitate a series of lessons for our kids through discipline. However, God the Father is in the business of changing hearts and when we point our children toward Him, we start to see true and lasting change. It’s not even that the bad behavior is changing as quickly as we would like, but it’s a heart change. It’s when you ask your child what they should do to make better choices and the first thing they say is “pray and ask God for help”. It’s when at breakfast you’re talking about nightmares and your child gives the advise “as soon as you wake up, ask God to clean your mind so you don’t have to keep thinking about it”. It’s when their letters to God reveal that there is true relationship forming. That your child is beginning to trust this God they can’t see or feel or touch. It’s quieting our own words so that they can begin to hear the voice of God—a voice filled with amazing grace for even the messiest parts of their hearts and a love beyond measure!