Near our home, and really throughout all of the Midwest right now, there is a great deal of flooding and tornadoes. In fact, in parts of a city near us they’ve been evacuating due to the Arkansas River flooding. Every 15 minutes you could hear the eerie blast of the sirens warning people to evacuate their homes or remain at their own risk. The entire community is weary from multiple tornado warnings and flood announcements. This is a lot for anyone to emotionally process, but especially our children.
Last night while we were in our tornado “bunker” AGAIN we prayed for those in the path of the destruction… “Dear Heavenly Father, we know you are mightier than the skies and the winds and the water. You created all of these things. While the sounds might make us feel scared, we know the truth is that no matter what happens, You, the Mighty God, will be with us and that nature is commanded by your hand. We know that our ultimate home is eternity where we won’t have any fear and there will be no darkness or sadness. Until that wonderful time comes, Lord, teach us to trust you and praise you no matter what.”
Intentional Parenting requires telling the truth, explaining the truth, and trusting in the truth with a calm confidence that is reassuring to a child. Truth is time-consuming.
We parents are so busy from the have-to’s of life that we often shove truth-proclaiming to the bottom of the to-do list. When an emergency develops in our lives, such as a tornado warning when you’re stuck in a closet together or evacuating from a flood when you’re stuck in a hotel room together (I’ve done both with my children in the past), suddenly truth demands our attention. Let’s be sure to give it at those times.
Yet wouldn’t it be best if we took the time for truth even without the forced-stop? Wouldn’t it be best if we intentionally proclaimed truth to our children every day as we sit at home, as we walk along the path, as we rise up and as we lie down to sleep, as God tells us to do in Deuteronomy 6:7? I know you are weary from the pressures of life and the urgent shoves the important away but my dear friend, hold on to truth tightly! Grasp it in your hand and hold it close to your heart. Let your children hear the passion for truth in your voice, let them feel your passion for truth in their spirit as you train them in the ways that bring love and joy and peace.
Sharing truth with our children requires a slower pace – treasured thoughts are not rushed. Explaining truth requires wisdom from a heart that has been pondering God’s wisdom throughout our hectic days. I know that is really challenging for busy parents! You can do it if you brainstorm some ways to add more meditative thoughts in your day.
I’ve found that Bible on audio and scripture put to music has been wonderful for helping me to meditate on God’s word when I don’t have time to sit down alone to read.
Also, when my kids were little and I couldn’t get a moment to myself for devotions, I would schedule a Bible Alone Time Together each day. I’d turn on some classical music and pass out picture Bibles to all of them. The littlest ones would go in a playpen or on a blanket spread out on the floor while older ones I would have them get a cozy spot in the room. Then I’d set a timer and say we’re all going to sit and quietly read our Bibles until the timer goes off. At first we started with five minutes but gradually worked our way up to 15 minutes a day.
Trusting the truth in a way our children can see requires a calm confidence and that, my mom friend, will require a miracle! At least it will be miraculous on days when you don’t FEEL confident or calm. Of course you won’t display this all the time, but if you set this as a goal in your life and pray that God would give you this ability, He will grow your confidence in the truth and your calm in the midst of the storm.
Walking the worthy road of parenthood right along with you,
Psalms 71:18 “Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.”