As my daughter (20 months) is growing up she has been noticing more and more about the world around her. When she was younger she started exploring by crawling up to things and then hitting them. She kept trying to put the parts of a puzzle in the wrong place. Then slowly she learned to be gentle with babies, people’s eyes, and other fragile things. Then she figured out shapes so that she would be able to fit shapes in a puzzle.
She has a sense of adventure and excitement about the world around her. She is constantly wanting to do what mom and dad are doing.
As I see her grow up I can imagine: does our Heavenly Father watch me like I do my daughter. Every moment God is thinking of stepping in but knowing I have to learn the hard way. Trying to help others but actually hurting them. Trying to make something work that doesn’t.
Like a dog that returns to his vomit
is a fool who repeats his folly. (Proverbs 26:11)
How can we go to God like a child and want to do his will?
How can we learn and grow spiritually as a family?
Now both of these questions are not easy to answer, and it will look different for each person/family.
1. You have to desire to please God before anything else.
One way that this has happened in our home is before mealtimes. My daughter calls out for mommy and daddy. Then she grabs our hands and bows her head, she is praying. We have many times been in the middle of something and stopped what we were doing to pray with our daughter. You will have moments like this with your children. Sometimes you have to start them. My daughter knows we do not eat until we pray. God comes first, even if we are hungry. Take the time to stop whatever you are doing and focus on worshiping God together.
2. You have to be weak and humble
This is something I struggle with, who wants to be weak? Who wants to be humble? Don’t we want to speak of our accomplishments? My daughter is weak, many times she makes a mistake and she doesn’t know what is right. We have to show her. When I make a mistake because I didn’t know I try to make myself look stronger than I am. Be willing to tell your children your mistakes and how God redeemed them. We are weak and when we humble ourselves and ask God for help. He provides all we need.
3. You have to be intentional
My daughter has a routine. As she goes through her day there are certain times for playing, bathing, sleeping, eating, and praying. We have to be intentional as parents to guide her daytime and evening routine. This can be applied spiritually. If we don’t intentionally encourage and give time for our kids to spend time with God, they will not do it. We have to model it. God our father has given us models in His Word of what we are to do and say. Intentionally set aside time to pray as a family for needs that you have. Spend time as a family doing morning devotions.
We can choose to be like a child stumbling around making mistake after mistake, not knowing any better. Or we can have a sense of adventure and excitement seeking God wanting to be like Him and His Son Jesus Christ.
I hope that we can all choose the later one.
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:4-10)