It was one of those moments that I will never forget.
She was seated in a discipleship class I was teaching, and she always had so much wit and wisdom to add to the discussion.
As a precious retired missionary, this woman was filled with great insights — which she graciously shared with the group.
However, on this particular day, we were discussing unanswered prayer.
I posed this question:
How long have you been praying for an unanswered prayer request?
Around the group, answers were called out:
6 months 1 year 2 years A few weeks.
Then, this dear woman raised her hand and said,
“I’ve been praying for my son to come back to the Lord for 30 years.
And, I will continue to pray until he does!”
She had prayed for a wayward child for 30 years. And, she wasn’t planning to stop praying until that boy returned!
To be a successful parent — to really win and keep their hearts – you must practice this final strategy:
Keep on keeping on no matter what happens!
Do not give up!
Consider the very wise words of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 with a few phrases changed:
“Loving parents are patient and kind.
Loving parents are not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
Loving parents do not demand their own way.
Loving parents are not irritable, and keep no record of being wronged.
Loving parents do not rejoice about injustice but rejoice whenever the truth wins out.
Loving parents never lose faith.
Loving parents are always hopeful.
Loving parents endure through every circumstance.”
Parenting is a marathon!
It is not a sprint, and there are no shortcuts.
The Goal – is to make it through — not unscathed — but still attached and connected to each other.
Think of it as river rapids – bumpy, but survivable.
And, you as a parent have a choice:
You can be right all the time, be pushy, be controlling, lecture constantly, bark like mad, and lose the hearts of the kids.
Or, you can try these strategies:
1] Win their HEARTS as little children and keep their hearts through their growing years.
When they are grown up, they will still like you and want to be around you because you never lost their HEARTS.
2] Make a HUGE DEAL out of prayer in your home!
~ Maybe you already make prayer a priority – make it an even bigger deal.
~ Maybe you haven’t been praying much in your home. It’s not too late to start.
~ Possibly you have never been a praying family. You can begin today.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to, “Pray without ceasing.”
3] Learn, learn, learn all that you can!
To win and keep our children’s hearts from birth until our last day on this earth, we need to gain as much great insight into our kids and how to connect with them as possible.
4] Seek out some OLDER, wiser friends who can give you insight and perspective.
There is so much you can gain and learn from those who have walked a little further down the road of life – and survived.
- Men need older men to talk to.
- Women need older women.
- Couples can learn from more mature couples.
5] Quit Barking at Your Kids!
People don’t want to have their faults pointed out–especially when done loudly & without grace.
Adults don’t like to be barked at.
Kids don’t like to be barked.
Our children don’t want to be barked at either — especially not by us!
6] TEACH Your Children When They Are Most Teachable.
We cram and push and lecture when we should be serving, inviting, sharing and discussing.
For years, wise school teachers have known about a little thing called, “Teachable Moments.”
In fact… It’s the Best Little Teaching Secret of Seasoned Teachers!
Teachable Moments are the moments in which students are most open and receptive to learning.
7] Choose your BATTLES wisely!
Not everything necessitates a fight.
- Carefully select what you want to make a BIG deal out of with your kids.
- Say, “YES” as often as you can.
- Say “NO” when you must.
- But don’t say “NO” to every single thing!
8] As parents — and especially as Christian parents — we need to continue to allow and enjoy humor, wit, fun, and laughter in our lives.
We need to keep our senses of humor into the middle school and young adult years.
It is SO easy to become serious, sad, unhappy, somber, and sober with our children.
But, they also need to see and hear us laugh.
They need to see us smile, enjoy life, and be playful too.
9] Key to it all… Never stop LOVING them and encouraging them.As a parent, keep on keeping on no matter what happens! Click To Tweet
Do not give up on them – ever!
Whether you are expecting your first baby or sending your baby off to college, these strategies apply and can work for you!
As I shared when we began this series… we have not done everything perfectly.
However, we have two children in college who both live at home with us.
And, we still have their hearts.
Those wonderful women who taught me these principles so long ago — Debbie and Christie — still enjoy wonderful relationships with their children and grandchildren.You can win and keep your children's hearts through even the darkest of days! Click To Tweet
It is possible!
And, it is possible for you and your children!
I pray that God will bless you and your home.
May He fill your halls, rooms, walls, doorways, yards, porches, and tables with much joy, laughter, connection, sweetness, and conversation.
I pray He will give you the hearts of your children beginning today, and grant you the grace to hold onto them!
**And, would you do me a favor — if this article has helped you today — would you share it with someone else?
~ I regularly link to these AMAZING SITES~
© Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.