Millions of children across the county will be going back to school in the next few weeks. Our social media will fill up with back-to-school photos and memories from past years. We’ll see the Instagram photos of perfectly packed lunches, new school supplies and backpacks. And the routine of school days, homework and activities will challenge us as we try to decide what’s best for our own kids.
Over the past two years many of us parents had to take on the role of balancing our work, our home life and taking on our children’s education. We get recommendations and opinions from our family, friends, schools and even the government as to what is the best way to do just about everything.
So, how do we as parents decide what is best for our children this year? How do we make decisions and move forward for this education and this school year?
We have to be fully reliant and dependent on God. He cares for us. And He wants us to make the decision to follow Him and allow Him to guide us, and then trust Him along the way.
This Is a Spiritual Battlefield
I believe that we are in a battle—a spiritual war—for our children’s hearts, their minds and their souls in this country. As parents we need to remember that our children are our mission field. The greatest spiritual impact we have is on our children at a young age.
We have to share Biblical truth with our children early on—out of the womb. It could be as simple as watching a beautiful sunset with your 2- and 3-year-old; you see the incredible colors, and you see the greatest artist of all, our Lord. He put those colors in the sky. That is the opportunity to share Biblical insight with your child.
We need to take advantage of every opportunity we have to share those truths, because the Lord is worth it.
As our children grow, the topics will change and more outside influences will challenge what we’ve taught them. We’re going to have to have some of these tougher conversations—conversations we couldn’t even imagine having with our kids in high school 20 years ago.
When you get anxious and you start worrying about tomorrow, those are the times to pray. Get on your knees and surrender the situation to the Lord—that He would give you the guidance and wisdom, the creativity to raise your children, to educate your children and trust Him with these days that we are facing.
In whatever way you need help, He’s going to help you along the way.
You Must Know God’s Word
Growing up, I saw my mom reading her Bible every day. As a family, when my dad was home and not traveling, we were on our knees together praying as a family. I grew up with godly parents and grandparents as my example.
Now, I have my own little ones. I try to be intentional about reading the Bible before they wake up, but I leave it open, even if I’m done by the time they wake up because I want them to see God’s Word open.
My little boy, I remember a time when he got up in my lap and I pointed to it: “Austin, what is this Mama’s reading?” and he said, “God’s Holy Word.” I never even taught him holy; I just said, “God’s Word.” Our children are little sponges and they will soak up everything that we put in front of them.
I want to encourage you—know God’s Word. It’s God’s Word and wisdom that will be your solid rock during this time. Love it, and teach it to your children. Make it fun for them. Teach them how to apply it to their lives. When you pass the baton on to the next generation, they will be able to stand on God’s Word as their foundation so whenever they face the world to come, they will be able to cling to God’s truth.
Give Praise in All Circumstances
This has been a difficult year all over the board—from little things to the big things—for so many people. One thing that I have to remind myself is to take time to praise God in the midst of whatever is going on.
One way that I practice praise in my own family with my children and my husband is something we do every night around the dinner table even if we have guests. We share our peaks and our pits. Your peak is the best thing of the day; your pit might be the worst thing. The only rule is your pit cannot be about somebody at the table. For instance, my daughter’s pit can’t be about her brother. My pit cannot be about my husband or vice versa. It’s a great way to draw us in to praise God for the good things.
Remember, God is good, and He is gracious. Praise Him in the midst of this chaotic year.
To the parents and maybe grandparents who are stepping in and helping and assisting: We can do this! Take it day by day, one step at a time. But when you rise, before you get out of bed, surrender your steps to Jesus and at the foot of the cross.