Everyday we are challenged with feats of courage for ourselves and others. I know we are able to gain understanding from each other during the process. One of the greatest feats of life is to determine and continue to determine which way to raise the blessed little ones that are given to us for our instructing. The reality that one strategy does not work for all children haunts even the most well-informed parents. Always the question comes did I try enough with this little one, elementary child, and eventually high school masterpiece?
One of the strategies that I seek to encourage more and even more at night is prayer and reading. Yes, the children have spent most of their days in school, but they have read about what their schools and their teachers are interested in. It is the parent that influences much of the children’s own personal interests, their priority to read, their developing psychology, theology, and common everyday habits.
It is during our evening conversations and readings together that the parent begins to cut past the surface of the routine. Each evening there are general tasks that have to be done that weigh heavily on the events of the parent and children’s evening. Homework is to be accomplished usually taking at least twenty minutes or more to complete, showers, dinner, and if there aren’t any other sports or extracurricular events, some reading to do before bedtime. When the parent accounts for the children’s free-time after school, he and she notices there really isn’t very much.
During my prayer time and Bible reading with my children, I have begun to notice what takes place that I would not have mysteriously uncovered any other way. It is during our reading of the the Bible, discussion, and prayer, that most quiet, concentrated time I have to hear their thoughts. One conversation was really very special. In one of my children’s prayers after talking about faith he said that he wanted to be better about living out his faith. He said how happy he was that he did not have to have a faith in God that is found all at once so to speak, but that he prayed to have “faith ablaze.”
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (N.I.V.)
As parents, we have the joy of mysteriously “cracking the code” and discovering who our children are becoming each day through our interactions with them. Praying and reading the Holy word of God brings up discussions that test the integrity of the their development and ours. What will we discover about our children over this year that would not been revealed without that quiet space built into our routines?