It's a brand new month, and the year's half over. Amazing how quickly time flies. I am just blown away by my teenagers, who were only yesterday, it seems, taking their first steps and potty training and being cuter and sweeter than any mom could stand or any kid has a right to be. I'm thankful to have most of it on video, cause those days are long gone.
Now they're in the stages of first dates and driver training and cell phones and laptops and begging for a new car. Forget cute and sweet, although they do have their moments. I cherish every last one of those moments, hoping against hope that it truly isn't the last one. And I remember what it was like to be that age, wanting to hurry and get it over with so I could move out and live by my own rules.
I also remember being totally unprepared for life in the real world and many of the consequences that living by my own rules would bring. I didn't have as firm a foundation of faith as I had thought, and I succumbed to temptation after temptation, causing my foundation to crack and crumble until it gave way beneath the weight of the world. I fell hard, but thank God I landed on my knees. Thank God that He never left me alone and that He was there to pick me up and put me in my place.
As I kneel before my Father, I have to admit that I haven't fully prepared my children to walk uprightly in every circumstance. Despite what I have learned, I haven't been diligent enough in grounding them firmly in the Word. Oh, I took them to church and they've both accepted Christ as their Savior, but I have neglected to foster their spiritual growth. I was a Sunday school teacher myself, but I relied on church and their Sunday school teachers to pick up my slack. As a result, they don't know Jesus as they should and can barely grasp the concept of allowing Him to be Lord of their lives. Well, yeah, that is a tough one. I only recently came to understand it myself. What a difference it makes! Knowing what I know now, I wish that I could go back and correct my mistakes, but there is not enough White Out in the world.
However, there is something far far better. Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.(John 1:29) Because of Christ, my sins are forgiven. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.(1 John 1:9) There is no need to go back. I need to remember my mistakes only to learn from them, not to wallow in guilt, not to worry about trying to undo them. All I have to do is move forward, trusting Him to guide my steps.
With that in mind, I must make every effort to teach my children to trust and obey Him, to hide His Word in their hearts, to seek after righteousness. I've had to make some changes. They don't like it much because they've become accustomed to what I call casual Christianity. Not fully committed, no real sacrifice. Basically, fire insurance. Biblically, lukewarm. I must pray diligently over them and entrust them to Him.
This necessity has become more evident over the past year, and I pray more fervently now than ever before - not just for my own children, but for every child I know. God has answered many of my prayers, one of which was "Teach me to pray, Lord." You see, I had the fervent part down, but I wasn't quite sure about the effectual (James 5:16) part. I read tons of articles on prayer and finally came across this guide at Moms In Touch International. I knew immediately that this was what I had been looking for. I emailed the link to my mom and my sisters. I printed it out to put on my wall at work as a reminder, not that I'd forget to pray, but to help me remember the scripture references.
I chose today to share this with you because there are 31 character traits and virtues listed. That's one for every day of the month. I urge you to pray daily for your children if you don't already, whether you use this guide or not. It is always necessary, even when it isn't obvious.