What I have come to realize though, as I have raised my two children, who are now young adults, is that I was often times focused and worried about the wrong things. Looking back, I was more concerned about my kids behavior than I was their hearts. I wanted them to "act" right and "do" right. I wanted them to "be" the kind of kid I "raised them to be". When this kind of thinking was my focus, I missed what was most important....the condition of their heart.
Let's face it, our kids are going to mess up. They're not always going to make the wise choice or act the way we want them to. They are going to have regrets in their life....as much as we would love to protect them, we simply can't when it comes to making good decisions. We can talk about things and show them what God says about certain behavior, but each child will decide for themselves. Just like we did when we were young.
So what is a good parent to do? Well.....pray. Ask God to capture your child's heart in a way where he/she knows His voice. Ask God to draw your child into relationship with Him. Ask Him to give your child a love for His Word. Ask God to help your child recognize His voice and distinguish between God's voice and the enemy's.
As my kids got older, I became more interested in the condition of their hearts than I did their behavior. I realized what I really cared about was not if they messed up, but if they were responsive to the Holy Spirit when they did. When they did wrong, did they hear His still small voice and repent? Did they make their heart right with God?
If we think about it, this is what we should really want as parents. Not perfection....not a good kid....but a kid who loves God, has relationship with Him, and listens to His voice. So the next time you want to pray, "God, help my child to stop doing such and such!"...why not pray, "God, capture my child's heart and draw him to You. Let him feel Your breath on his life and respond to your call." This prayer will bring peace as you realize God loves your child and knows what he/she needs more than you ever will. Rest in this today.
Let us know how we can pray for your family. We would love to agree with you!