QUESTION: As a parent, what do you think is one of the most important things God is asking us to do? Have you really ever stopped to think about that?
Would it surprise you, if I told you one of those things is found in Psalm 145:4?
One generation shall praise your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.”Psalm 145:4
How often do you stop and praise the Lord in front of your children? I bet it happens easily when big, life-changing things happen. When we were buying our home, it was evident that God paved the way for us. The house had sat on the market for months with no offers, the price of our home steadily dropped in price and it sat there with no movement. It was my dream home, I had pictured this house in my mind for many years. I stumbled on this house three months before I was ready to buy. I contacted a realtor friend and asked him to keep an eye on it for me. He convinced me to go look at it, even though it was before I was ready to buy.
We looked at it, loved it, but we still weren’t ready. We knew it had sat for months, so he talked me into making an offer, with the contingency that we would not be ready for another three months to move forward on it. They were quick to accept our offer. We were told after that, the offers started pouring in, they even had a cash offer. They honored their agreement with us and we have now been in our home for four years. Praised the Lord, we most definitely did!! This home would not be ours, if the Lord didn’t hold back the other offers until we had a chance to buy it. I was quick to let my kids know that.
Praise the Lord in the daily things. Look around you, there are so many things to praise Him for! Take your kids up to the mountains and praise the Lord with them for His beauty.
Pray in front of your kids when you lose your keys, so that you can praise Him when you find them.
Praise Him for the food that you daily partake. Take every opportunity to sing our Lord’s praise.
When you receive gifts or purchase new things, take a moment to praise the Lord for them. James 1:17 tells us,
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
For a couple of years now, I’ve wanted to buy a new van. Every time I thought about it, I decided against it simply because my current van was paid off and I wasn’t sure I wanted to have that car payment. I spent time praying about it and decided that if I went forward with purchasing a new vehicle I couldn’t go over a certain budget.
I reached out to a friend who is in the car business and lo and behold, God blessed me beyond measure with a brand new van that was $1 under my budget. In researching names for my van, come on, you know you all do it, I came up with the name Gia. Simply because it means, “God’s gracious gift.” I never want to forget that this is from Him.
Do you praise the Lord in the hard times?
You can be sure our kids are watching, looking to us to see how we will respond. Psalm 34:1-4 tells us to praise the Lord even when life throws you a lemon.
I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. I will glorify in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.Psalm 34:1-4
Did you catch that? It says, let us exalt His name together!
I understand wanting to shelter your kids from the hard times. My kids dad walked out on us when they were very young. We went through some very tough times. Although I didn’t share all the details with them, I shared just enough for them to understand our need for prayer.
There was one situation where we were very low on money, I suppose I probably had some extra expenses that month that hadn’t been budgeted in. I wondered how I was going to buy the groceries that we needed. I told my kids that it was time to pray and explained that God was going to provide.
I wasn’t sure how, at that moment, but I knew God was faithful.
One day, I walked out my door, and sitting there on our front porch was a basket full of groceries that someone had left us anonymously. If I hadn’t shared our need with my kids, we would have missed out on the opportunity to praise the Lord together! I could go on about all the ways He showed up in the storm of our lives, that lasted for multiple years.
God doesn’t promise life will be easy, we will face hard times. We are living in one of those times right now. This is the time we should be out enjoying the summer; visiting all our favorite places, camping, spending countless hours with friends, worshiping together as a whole church family.
It’s hard. But in the midst of the storm, I challenge you to search for the ways that God is blessing your family. I promise those blessings are there, you just have to look for them. When you find them, praise the Lord together with your kids!
Shout from the rooftops what God has done for you! Don’t miss out on telling your children. You want them to grow up and share with their children how God has been faithful.
Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.”Joel 1:3
I tell my kids countless stories of how God was faithful to my parents. Stories that include healing, safety, multiplying food when it was low, miracles that happened when they were on the mission field. My hope is that they will turn and tell their kids of how God was faithful to their grandparents and to us and that it will pass down for generations to come.
We want to shine the light for Jesus to our children in how we live. Be vulnerable, allow your kids to see the hard and the good times, let them learn how to navigate this world and point them to Jesus. An old song sums it up well, “O may all who come behind us find us faithful, may the fire of our devotion light their way. May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe, and the lives we live inspire them to obey.”