Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to Relieve Your Stress & Transform Your Child

Matthew 7:7 promises, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."

As parents, I believe we can rely on this promise if we are already honoring God by pouring into our children what the Lord pours into us.

Paul Miller, author of A Praying Life, changed how I think about parenting with his simple-but-powerful method of praying for each family member. He said, "Prayer is how I get things done." Then he explained how he gets things done with His children.

He uses a card -- say, a 3x5 -- for each child, and lists each thing he wants to see happen in that child's life. Daily he prays over the cards. Simplistic? Yes. Powerful? Think about it: A Godly daddy who is already bringing up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is taking specific requests for his children to God, his and their ultimate Father.

That trumps worrying. That beats 'trying harder.' That trumps fussing and wrestling with the kids, your wife, or God over their behaviors and circumstances.

It lays the issues at the feet of Christ! Paul says he has steadily seen God do what He has asked.

I have as well. Let me tell you (!), my stress level drops, my peace level rises (those are always in direct correlation, by the way) and my hope for my children sky rockets when I pull out those cards.

Ours is a good Father who desires to give good gifts to His children, including developing their lives according to His will. On that issue, He and I agree, you and He agree, and He will honor you as you raise up your children. He is steadily working harder and with more wisdom than you and I at transforming our children! So take your requests directly to Him, and trust Him.

Ask Him. Specifically. Daily. It's one way you get parenting done!

(Photo is of a sample, mock card for an 11-year-old girl)