The moment my little girls were born, I was overwhelmed. I never knew it was possible to feel so many different emotions all at once. But I found myself mesmerized by their innocence and purity. Sure, they cried a lot, but they were so incredibly… perfect and untainted. I wanted to protect them at all costs, but I didn’t know where to start. Our culture is far from perfect. My children are growing up in a world with reasons to fear at every corner and sin so readily available. I knew I needed to learn how to stand in faith for my girls.
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Learning how to stand in faith for something or someone is a process. God will often call us to trust Him little by little until one day we have the faith to stand for something much bigger. In this way, He builds our faith as He reveals to us His faithfulness in all things.
But standing in faith for yourself and standing on behalf of someone else are two entirely different things. We all long for what’s best when it comes to our loved ones, but it’s easy to feel like things are out of our control. (I guess that’s where the faith comes in right?)
Here are four ways to begin standing in faith for your children…
- Stand on the promises found in God’s Word. The Bible is filled with promises regarding our protection, our security in Christ, and even the legacies we leave behind for our children. And Paul made it clear in his letter to the Ephesians that we should be praying on behalf of others.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. – Ephesians 6:18-19
Praying for each other is something we are called to do as believers. Prayer has the power to bring about change, even in the hearts and minds of those who don’t even know we are praying for them.
Children are a gift from God, and He entrusts us as parents with their care. How much more should we be praying on behalf of our children?
- Remember what we are shielding our children from… the unseen rather than what is seen. From an early age, we as Christian parents set boundaries for our children. We guard their eyes and ears against seeing or hearing things that their innocent minds shouldn’t have to witness yet. But as much as we shelter them, at some point they will experience something in their life that no one would want for their child. They will witness a tragedy or death in the family. Or perhaps a “friend” will say hurtful things. Hardship and heartache are a part of our natural world. And sin is a normal part of our culture. We can’t shelter them forever. So what then?
As a child, I was very fortunate to have parents who not only watched over our hearts and minds, but they helped my brother and me to understand what it is they were actually shielding us from. It wasn’t about the outward sin or the harsh talk. It was about the unseen. For example, I knew that I shouldn’t watch certain horror films… not just because Christians shouldn’t, but because the enemy uses fear in our lives to deter us from living our lives bravely for Christ. In other words, guarding our hearts and minds isn’t simply a nice suggestion, but rather it protects us from the enemy’s fiery darts.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12
- Entrust your children to God. As hard as it may be to accept, we can’t control much of anything when it comes to our kids. At some point, we have to trust that God is working in their life… even if we don’t see the fruit of it yet. Standing in faith for them is more about surrendering them to God than anything else. It’s when we give them over to God that He can truly begin to work in our hearts as well as theirs.
As a parent, it can be hard to grant someone else the reigns when it comes to your children. But trust me when I say that God is good, and your children couldn’t be in safer hands. He can protect them and guide them in ways that you never could.
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- Leave behind a legacy that teaches them how to stand for themselves. My daughters are still young. They are still learning the basics of praying and trusting God. And until they can stand on their own, I will be standing for them. And even as they learn to stand in faith on their own, I will be standing with them. I can’t begin to tell you how influential my mom was (and still is) in my life. She taught me how to stand! And I hope to do the same for my girls.
With that being said, it is so important for our children to witness our faith in action… for them to see us walk by faith and not by sight. As they witness God’s faithfulness in our lives, it will become easier for them to live by faith in their own lives.
We are called to stand in faith for our children and teach them to one day stand on their own.
Click on the graphic or HERE for this month’s Bible reading plan all about our faith in Jesus!
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.