Sunday, January 23, 2011

Purposeful Parenting

I have been praying fervently for our children and for our family and that the Lord will grant to me and Caleb wisdom and strategy in raising our children. After much prayer and discussion with Caleb, the phrase that we received for this season is "Purposeful Parenting. As parents living in urgent times and in the hour of history that we are in, we must be parents who purposefully raise our children in the context of night and day prayer and who create schedules and perform activities that will build the spirit man and prepare them for the times ahead. Having decided to pursue full time ministry at the Orlando House of Prayer, Caleb and I are very excited to raise Aaliya in a physical house of prayer. However, what truly matters is not that we have a physical building where 24/7 worship and intercession is consistently going on, but that we understand the signs of the times and create an atmosphere in our homes that mimics David's tabernacle. We no longer have the luxury of hoping that our kids grow up without getting involved in drugs and that they have a "good" life. We must purposefully raise fiery children who do not compromise.

So, how have we decided to purposefully parent? Here are a few ways;

1) Scripture Memorization: We believe even wee ones should be exposed to reading the Word of God and Scripture memorization. As soon as our children are able to communicate with words, we will assign and encourage Scripture to memorize weekly. Of course Scripture varies with each child's age as to the difficulty, however we also believe challenging our children spiritually will build them up.

2) Family Devotions: I know many of you have already established a family devotion time, however with our unique family situation*, weekends are the only time all four of us can commune in a family devotion time. Caleb, of course, leads this time with prayer and Scripture reading, encouraging conversation amongst one another (regarding the subject of course) and with the Lord.

3) Homeschooling: This is a brand new one for us. We were always advocates of our children being light admist darkness in public schools. We were dead set on public schooling. However, in praying about it, we feel our priorities greatly vary that of the public school system and would like to spend the bulk of schooling teaching Biblical principles that create character and once again, build the spirit man. So, we have decided to homeschool our children. Hopefully, all of them. Once again, our family setting is a bit different.

4) Prayer Room: I believe it is imperative for children to learn how to minister to the Lord in prayer and worship. Not just happy "Bible Camp" songs, but true, intimate worship, even at a young age. For us, the best way to implement such a heart for worship and prayer is the prayer room at the Orlando House of Prayer. Part of the reason I decided to become full time in the prayer room is because I value the atmosphere that is being created there and I desire my children to grow up in such a place. Not only dwelling in such an atmosphere but hearing constant teachings on intimacy with Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount and Biblical eschatology will surely build up the spirit of each child. So, as soon as Aaliya starts walking we want to commit to the Saturday children's prayer watch so that even as a young'n, she will get an opportunity to participate in our prayer watches.

5) Keeping our lives simple, modeling the lifestyle of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) I believe this is the most important one! To fashion a lifestyle for our children clear of many (if not all!) distractions for ourselves and our children so that we may position ourselves in a place to listen to the voice of God and be transformed into the image of holiness. Teaching our children this lifestyle, we believe will pave the way for simplicity later on in life.

This is just a few of the things that we are now implementing in our home that we feel are valuable in the art of raising children in the Lord. Surely, more things will come as we continue to seek His face as parents.

What things do you implement as a parent to help raise your child in the ways of the Lord?

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