I recently read the book Everyday Talk by John A. Younts. There are a few points that I picked up while reading this book. First in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 it says Jesus used every day talk with his disciples. He used every event and non-event to talk to them: for example, a fig tree, a sparrow, wheat, mustard seeds, hair on your head, money, and the weather. As a parent, you can use anything in life to train up your children. He definitely wants you to talk about Him every day.
This book also expresses how to live in redemptive community in your home. No matter how good of a parent you are, your children will sin. It was very clear though in this book that how you respond matters. Just yelling at a child for their behavior will not change the heart. Taking the time to talk to your child about heart issues sets up opportunities for gospel conversations. Also leading your child to pray relating to discipline gives them a chance to ask God for forgiveness. Even the youngest children can repeat prayers. So, take the time to teach them to pray to God. Even if it starts out as a word for word prayer that they can repeat after you. Even Jesus had to teach his disciples how to pray.
Investing in your children is so important. Engage in active listening with them. Not just the listening when you are doing other things but taking the time to really hear what they are trying to say to you. Questions are not a bother; they are how children learn. By listening you tell them that you care for what they are saying. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in other things and forget how important this is.
Do you ever feel like you’re always teaching your children something? Good! This is normal. Always remember that children need to be instructed. Give clear precise instructions, an example of this would be, “(Insert Child’s name) please do this now. Give timing and clear expectations, knowing that you will often have to do this alongside them before they can ever do it on their own. Ultimately this will teach your children the joy of obeying God. God says in Proverbs 20:21 “The wise in heart are called discerning and pleasant words promote instruction.” James 1:19-20 “says but everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. For the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” Children can be just like us; stubborn, deceitful, manipulative, and rebellious. They too are tempted and struggle with certain sins. Your job is to recognize their sin for what it is and teach them how to deal with it Gods way.
This book had many insights into parenting your child. As a parent of a young adult and an almost teenager I found this book very helpful. There are things that I wish that I could have done differently but I know that it is never too late.
God wants your everyday talk with your children to lead them to Christ. And remember that God gave us the gift of His word, which we can use when we communicate with our children. Don’t give up. You only have your children for such a small amount of time. God gave them to you to prepare them, to guide them, and lead them to a life that is God honoring. There will be messes along the way. God didn’t promise believers a perfect cushy life. The Lord is with us constantly, we have nothing to fear, even the sometimes-scary world of parenting.