My friend Patty and her husband adopted five kids from a Native American reservation a few states over. These kids ranged from ages six to twelve and had the same mother and father. The kids had never attended church, and there were many opportunities for correction and guidance. Patty didn’t want the kids to feel they were constantly being corrected or disciplined, so she tried to find creative methods.
The children had a habit of saying “Oh my God!”, which drove Patty crazy. She believed if you aren’t praying, then using God’s name as a reaction was taking His name in vain. She was having trouble getting that point through to the kids. She prayed about the situation, asking the Holy Spirit to give her inspiration. One morning in the shower her prayers were answered. She had an idea and a plan.
Patty didn’t have to wait long to put her plan into action. After school that day her oldest walked into the kitchen from the bus stop and started telling Patty about some things at school. She said those three words as part of her conversation.
Patty bowed her head and clasped her hands in prayer. Her twelve year old daughter stared at her. “Mom! Mom! What are you doing? Mom?” Patty opened her eyes and looked at her daughter. “Why, I’m praying of course! You started speaking to God, so I bowed my head and joined you in prayer.” Her daughter rolled her eyes but Patty was determined.
At every exclamation of her Father’s holy name, Patty stopped what she was doing, bowed her head, clasped her hands together, and began praying silently. She prayed her children would begin to acknowledge Him in everything they do, and that He would constantly show her and her husband how to help them realize His plan for them and how much He loved them. Patty was amazed at the slow but steady transformation.
The kids one by one stopped using those three words in their everyday conversation. They also began to understand the depths of God’s love and His plan for them. After a few months Patty didn’t hear her cue to pray anymore, but she didn’t stop praying. She realized that it’s actually a good thing to stop what she was doing and start praying for her kids. By trying to teach her children, she realized God had taught her. Our Father is so amazing that way!
Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this post. Please share your experiences with devising new ways to hammer points home with your kids.