When my son was a toddler, it became apparent he was a runner. As in, he will take off running at any given opportunity! That summer I had a brace from hip to ankle on my left side, so I knew I was going to have to work hard on training him to stop when I asked him to do so.
Every time, immediately whenever I said STOP.
We made a game of it in our yard, and practiced regularly until it became second nature to him to stop.
What I didn’t do was give him a detailed explanation in the moment of potential danger as to why he should stop and obey me.
Until he was old enough to understand:
- I love him
- I want to keep him safe and
- I only want the best for him
he needed to first time obey me because I asked him to do so.
I learned this lesson as a new Christian on a double date with my new husband and another couple, who drove us to a movie they chose one night.
Within a few minutes into the movie, my spirit was not at rest. I knew this was a movie I should not be seeing. I didn’t know what to do, as we were far from home and I’d never had such a discussion with my hubby ahead of time. So I blocked the images and plugged my ears until the movie was over, and we got home to talk about it. We realize we had both had the same prompt from the Holy Spirit, and agreed together to obey it when either of us heard it again, regardless of the circumstances.
Sometimes we learn lessons after an experience, and sometimes before.
God is always waiting to guide us. The questions really become:
↪Are we teachable?
↪Are we sensitive to His voice?
↪Are we modeling this for our kids?
If we want to raise the next generation to be sensitive to His leading, we first need to be trainable, and model this for our kids.
Some times God may explain the why behind His direction, often He may not. Like toddlers, we need to learn to obey God the first time:
- knowing He loves us
- trusting its for our best and
- believing that following Him will keep us safe.
When God points out danger up ahead, we need to follow where He leads, and ask Him to help us explain (as appropriate, if need be, to our children) why we did so.
By teaching our children this way, we train them to seek Him first, that God is to be their compass in all things.
Point your kids in the right direction— when they’re old they won’t be lost. Proverbs 22:6 MSG