Being the first christian in my family makes it hard for me to know what godly habits I should teach my children and how to raise them in the way they should go.
When I was pregnant with my first, my prayer to God was, ” Lord, help me be a godly mother and teach me how to raise my children.”
I was so nervous to fail my children as a mother and I know that there are so many moms who, like me, feel like they are not good enough to raise their kids.
But I want to start by telling you that those are lies from satan. When God picked a mother for your child, He knew exactly what type of mom you were going to be and HE PICKED YOU because He knew what an amazing mom you are.
So as my children grow, I continue to see God pick up my slack. Meaning whenever I fall short or mess up as a mom, God promptly comes to help me and teach me how to be the mom He has called me to be.
I hear a gentle voice tell me, ”talk kindly to her” When I lose my temper and “go check if she is cold” in the middle of the night.
God has been my mentor when it comes to mothering. So, here are three things the Holy Spirit has led me to teach my kids:
1) Teach them how and when to pray.
From very early on, my toddlers know that we pray for everything. If someone gets hurt, I ask them to pray for healing. If something great happens, we show them how to pray in thanks-giving. If we are about to eat or go to sleep, we pray. When we are blessing someone, we invite them to lay hands on them and bless them as well.
They are praised and encouraged every time theg pray. They are given constant opportunities to lead the family in prayer. I mean, they are toddlers, so their prayers are only three or four basic sentences. But the point is that we want prayer to be the first thing they resorts to for everything and not the last.
We want prayer to be the most essential part of their life. Jerrod, my husband, and I wholeheartedly believe that we can’t afford to live a life without prayer. So we teach out kids and show them how to have a prayer life.
2) Teach them to constantly practice generosity
Now, this is a hard one. I think I’ve said the word “mine” only a handful of times in front of my two toddlers but somehow they have found out about it and can’t stop using it.
So we have to make it a point to look for opportunities where we can teach them about generosity and it’s benefits.
We believe that God gives sees to the shower. In other words, He gives more to those who give more. And that giving brings joy and freedom in you life.
We don’t want them to grow up with the love of money or possessions and not be able to serve God.
We don’t want for them to be bound to material things.
We do want then to always be the blessor to other people. We want them to experience the happiness and satisfaction that comes from being a giver.
So, practically speaking, we explain to them about a dozen times a day why is better to give. We also make sure to highlight when us or others share things with them and how amazing that feels for them.
We encourage them to share and explain that if they do, then they will get rewarded later. That reward can be the same toy back or a treat or a high five.
When they choose not to share or give we explain the serious consequences those actions will have and how it will affect their friendships in the future.
And when we ask them kindly to share and they listen, you would think they just won a marathon because we celebrate them BIG TIME!
3) Teach them how and when to repent.
Out of these three habits, I know for a FACT that God led me to teach this one. See, the first two might seem like common sense. But this habit is something that I actually still struggle with as an adult. And I think most of us do.
The thought of us having to correct our behavior and asking for forgiveness when we mess up AKA having humility, is such a hard pill to swallow and difficult thing to do.
But I know that pride drives us far away from people and most importantly, from God. The Bible says that pride is the only thing tha God, himself, resits.
So, I don’t want my children to grow up prideful. I want them to always be the first to apologies. I want them to check themself regularly and change what they need to be change. I want them to be know for being humble people.
How do we do that? Well, like anything else, we do it first, by showing them and then teaching them. So, when Jerrod or I mess up as parents by either yelling or getting too angry, we are quick to ask them to forgive us (We’ve been doing it since they were just months old). We also practice apologizing and asking for forgiveness between ourselves in front of the Children. We constantly remind the kids to go back and ask for forgiveness to their sibling and we teach the other child to forgive quickly as well.
What do you think? Do you agree these are the most important habits? or do you have other suggestions? Please let me know in the comments below, I would greatly appreciate it.
I hope this helps,