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  • Writer's pictureitallstartsintheho

Priceless Investment

A few moms of elementary-age children recently inquired what I do to parent my growing teenagers. I responded that parenting is an ongoing process, and you learn as you go. What worked in one season may not work in another. And what bore fruit for one child may not produce for another. However, I shared what started in our home.

We make sure our home, our foundation is right.

-We welcome God into our home. -Declare 2 Chronicles 7:15-16 (AMP)

"Now my eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer offered in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified and set apart for My purpose this house that my Name may be here forever, and My eyes and My heart will be here perpetually."

-Ask God to keep your home safe. -Declare Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."

-Command peace into your home. -Declare Luke 10:5 (ESV)

"Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house!'"

With the culture's constant tug of war for our kids' minds, we mustn't tolerate what the Bible defines as wrong. Once one tolerates it, one will eventually compromise and accept it. Conviction falls away, and it can lead to open participation. As parents, we are the spiritual leaders of our family and cannot take this role lightly.

Here are some of our family practices:

-(I have shared this idea before.) Since our children are at school and with others more than they are with us, we make it a point to pray over the schools they attend. We pray and walk around the perimeter of each of the kids' schools. As a family, we mark each one for Jesus. Each child declares what they hope to witness. The declarations are not only for themselves but also for the school body as a whole. We instruct each one to seek the direction of what the Holy Spirit is releasing for the new year. Some are the same, and some are different for each school.

-We are committed to praying together. Since our oldest is away at college, we Facetime together Sunday evenings, share our prayer requests and pray for one another.

-We make it a point to take communion together every Sunday.

-Before my youngest goes to school every morning, I decree several declarations over him.

-When I drop off my daughter at college, we pray together in the car and prophecy over our day.

-Our evening routine includes "Rose, Thorn, Bud" - best, worst, how were we kind. Discussing what their high and low was and an opportunity to be kind allows us to see their world through their eyes.

-Right before my oldest left for college, we drafted a contract with him. It includes lifestyle principles that we believe are essential for my son to live by.

-We ask our kids to read their Bible and do their daily devotionals. When our kids were younger, they leaned on our faith. But now that they have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, it's imperative they grow their faith by engaging their Lord and Savior for themselves. My sons have their men's devotional, and my daughter has a women's devotional. We discuss their takeaways and come up with an application.

We don't demand any of the above, but we try to nurture our children's relationship with God and with us. When my daughter had to see an acupuncturist a couple of weeks ago, the assistant and I had a chance to chat. One topic opened to another, and she commented how her kids no longer have faith in Jesus. She lamented in regret and said it was too late for her children. I disagreed and reassured her it is never too late.

It is never too late to invest in your family. Take some time to evaluate how you have been cultivating your home. Keep doing what is right but change today what is wrong.

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