October 10, 2017
9 Powerful Ways to Supercharge your Parenting
December 18, 2018 | Pastor Matt Poorman
A few weeks ago, we took the weekend off and visited another church for Sunday service. That particular week was Thanksgiving, so the service was all about giving thanks, but specifically to God for what he has done in the last year. The pastor did an open mic time for people to stand and share something that they wanted to publicly thank God for. As I sat in my seat, I was prompted to share.
Just moments before we stood to sing for worship, I had the privilege of standing next to my two oldest kids (Elijah who is 13 and Abby who is 11) and watch them close their eyes, lift their hands, and give all they could to worship God. It is an amazing experience to watch your very own children be uninhibited in worship to the creator of the universe. Just recently, they both have been more willing to press into being expressive in worship. It’s a day I won’t soon forget.
My wife, Leah, and I know that we have not been perfect parents, and we haven’t done it all right, but it brought to mind Proverbs 22:6, “Train children in the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
This made me think: My kids are turning towards God and not away from Christ! I know they have a long life to live and I am grateful that they are choosing to follow Jesus and willing to press into moments to connect with God at their young age.
In this moment, though, as I sit here and reflect, I begin to wonder, I am super grateful, and why? Why are my kids leaning into Jesus and not away? What’s been the mechanism to move them towards a Jesus trajectory? And here’s my conclusion…
As parents, Leah and I made a conscious decision very early on in our parenting to be very intentional with the condition of our kid's soul. Yes, we want them to have great experiences, do things they like, be good and successful at stuff, be safe, etc. But most of all, we want them to fall in love with Jesus, know His voice, and follow Him. The truth is, all other things we want for our kids will come if the first things are first and the condition of their soul is good. It’s true!
Do you know the condition of your child’s soul today?
As parents, I think this is a good question to ask and evaluate on a regular basis. If we are going to see the wisdom of Proverbs 22, we may need to correct our parenting patterns or try a different approach.
For the Poormans, this idea of being concerned most about our kids’ soul has driven us to implement certain things in our lives and in our home. I thought I’d share a few of them and hopefully, they are helpful to your parenting, future parents, grandparents, and anyone with influence over kids. This is by no means an exhaustive list. These are a few things we’re doing and seem to be working...
- We do family Bible time, worship and prayer on Monday night each week.
- We encourage our kids up to read their Bibles in the mornings when they wake up.
- We model reading our Bible in front of our kids.
- We pray with and for our kids each night before bed.
- We ask our kids regularly to pray out loud in front of others with us.
- We bring Jesus into discipline with applicable scripture.
- We don’t miss church. We don’t have our kids participate in any sport or extracurricular activity that would make missing church an option. We even go to church when we are on vacation.
- We have our kids participate at church. We’ve committed our kids to weekly Student Ministries and kids programs/events and missing are rare at best.
- We do follow up with our kids after a program/event and ask them what they’ve learned.
Incorporating these suggestions doesn’t guarantee your kids will never stray from God at some point in their life, but by being intentional in knowing the condition of their soul and feeding them good things, lays a foundation for success. Essentially, we’re trying our best to live in line with the command that is given to us in Deuteronomy 11:18-19…
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.”
Do all of that so that and “your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors.” Things will go well and our children will be where we so desperately want them to be anyway and things will be done according to God’s will!
Leah and I pray that our kids continue to grow, we as parents, are committed to continuing to press in as much as we can. I would highly encourage any parent to start implementing any of the things above as well as trying others that you come up with as soon as possible. It makes a HUGE difference and the condition of our kids’ soul really is our highest priority!
Matt Poorman is the Campus Pastor of the Grape Road Campus. He is responsible for the overall Spiritual Health of families and volunteers that attend the campus including children’s ministry, student ministries, & adult ministries.