Baby Steps

In Isaiah, we read that God “…gently lead(s) those who are with young.”  Looking back on my 16 years of parenting experience, I don’t claim to be a professional parent by any stretch of the imagination but I definitely have learned some valuable lessons along the way.  My heart goes out to young parents; moms especially, as they struggle to raise their children.  There are untold pressures put on parents these days.

If I was to give advice to new parents and only had a few hundred words I could use to help them, these would be the words I would say: Be open. Be teachable.  Find someone who has great kids and ask lots of questions and follow their advice.  Read Bible-based books on raising children (there are MANY great options out there – check out www.christianbook.com for ideas).  Spend time with God every day, whether it is two minutes while you do dishes or while you’re in the shower (you’ll get more time as your children grow).  Don’t be discouraged.  You’ll have good days and bad days.  Awful days and fabulous days.  There’ll be days you think you earned your stripes as the best parent ever and then there will be days when you feel as though you’ve failed miserably.  I’ve been there. And probably will be there again.  However, don’t stay there.  “Forget the former things… Behold I will do a new thing! … I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” God wants to transform your family from a place of bareness and unfruitfulness to a place of oasis and increase; spirit, soul and body.

Always incorporate God, good character, strong morals and virtues, and general success principles for life such as giving, serving, loving, being a leader, being on time, and having integrity and humility in your everyday circumstances of life. Walk the walk. Then talk the talk.  On a practical note, shut off the TV or better yet, throw out the TV.  Eliminate all forms of evil from your home: horror movies, fear-filled shows, crime shows, evil looking toys such as dragons, etc. and be aware of all forms of sorcery and divination that can creep into your home in a sly, undercover way. Remove any signs of death such as skulls or crossbones from your clothing and decor.  Introduce positive books, DVDs, toys, decor, etc that all promote life and prosperity.  Have inspiring quotes and phrases/verses displayed throughout your home.  Open up the blinds.  Wash the windows.  Edit your stuff.  Simplify so you can have more time to spend on what’s important.  Get down on the floor and play a game.  Play Christian music on your CD player or in your car.  Fill your home and lives with the life-giving presence of God.  This will already make an amazing difference to the atmosphere in your home.  You’ll likely find that nightmares will cease, the overall attitude of your children and partner will improve and your overall stress will diminish.

Bottom line, you will be a successful parent as you follow Holy Spirit’s leading.  He will “gently guide those with young.”  He will show you the path to take for each individual child in your home.  He will unravel mysteries, bring redemption and make “crooked places straight” as you reach out to Almighty God and His Spirit to come alongside and give guidance, wisdom and revelation.

“Father, I pray for all the parents reading this column right now.  May you give divine insights and Godly wisdom and strategies to bring LIFE to their homes and families. I declare that your life-changing Presence will infiltrate their bodies, minds and spirits.  I declare that Your Peace will make everything right.  I declare that You make ALL things New.  I say today is a fresh start. The past is in the past.  I thank You that this is a turnaround day in Jesus’ name, Amen!”

Scripture references: Isaiah 40:11b, Isaiah 43:18 & 19, Isaiah 40:4

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