family, marriage

Day 20 Prayer: To be a Good Father

I love my dad. My father is one of the most humble, gentle people you will ever meet. Is he perfect? No. However, his Godly example is bearing fruit not only in my life, but in the life of my kids.

My earliest memories are of him reading his Bible every morning while eating his breakfast. (My mom did this, too, but we are talking about fathers.)

My dad is a hard worker, a man of integrity, and has great knowledge and wisdom. He also has a funny side. He is a man of few words, but when he speaks, we always wonder if he will say something wise or funny.

Maybe you didn’t have a good father. Maybe your dad wasn’t even around. It saddens my heart when I hear stories of fathers who didn’t stand up to the plate, and were absent or were abusive either verbally or physically.

The wonderful thing is, we can pray for our husbands to be a good father to our children. Regardless of their upbringing, God can do awesome things in the heart of a man who is willing and ready.

Day 20 Prayer: To be a Good Father

Thank God for the children he has given to you and your spouse.

Pray that your husband will be a Godly example to your kids.

Pray that he will not provoke your children to anger. (Ephesians 6:4) If this has happened in the past, pray that he would be able to use his words wisely and discipline without anger.

Pray that he would be able to communicate and be interested in your children. If he struggles with the desire to be an interactive father, start there. Pray for a change of heart.

“The righteous who walks in his integrity-blessed are his children after him.” Proverbs 20:7

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christianity, marriage, Uncategorized

Day 13 Prayer: Our Speech

“Indeed we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every way.” James 3:2 NLT

How many of us have said things we regret and wish we could take our words back? I try to be careful with my words and my response to others. But, all too often I find myself wishing I could go back in time and respond differently to something someone said.

Whether it’s talking face to face, writing on social media, or talking about someone when they aren’t there, our speech can either speak life or death.

James chapter 3 has a great deal to say about the tongue. Verse 9 says “People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.”

Wow! We need to really think before we speak. Are we building each other up or tearing one another down due to jealousy and envy? Are we letting anger and frustration rule our emotions instead of taking a moment to stop and take a breath to let the Holy Spirit have control?

Day 13 Prayer: Our Speech

Thank God for His wisdom and mercy.

Thank Him that by drawing closer to Him we can speak life and show love to those close to us.

Pray that you and your family would be able to be gentle at all times, willing to yield to others, and be merciful even in the most difficult circumstances.

“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:29 NLT

family, marriage

Day 7 Prayer: Dependence on God

I want to bring up the importance of dependence. It’s a topic I have learned quite a bit about living off-grid. I even wrote a book on it called Beautiful Dependence.  I am not talking about being dependent on vices in our life, such as alcohol, drugs, or food. The dependence I am speaking of is true dependence on God for everything that we need.

When we become too comfortable in life, we often forget about our need to go to God daily. We become complacent. We think Life is good – until it’s not. Then we have a trial that comes our way and we quickly realize how weak we truly are. Jesus is our example. He woke up early every morning and prayed before He did anything else. He went to the Father for direction, guidance, and companionship.

In my own life I fought for independence. I wanted to be the strong girl who could conquer anything set before me. In many cases I succeeded. However, after living on a snow-covered mountain, with a vehicle that wouldn’t get us up the hill any longer, I suddenly realized how important my neighbor was to me. Or, seeing how wonderful my husband was to get up every morning and start the fire, so my kids and I didn’t have to wake up to a cold cabin. Trials became something to expect on the mountain. I knew in order to make it through those trials I had to cry out and depend on God to get me through them.

I have never liked trials. At one point in my life, I was willing to be a lukewarm Christian because I noticed the more I grew in the Lord, the more tribulations came my way. I wanted nothing to do with hardship. I wanted things nice and cozy. Until I realized you can’t stop bad things from happening. We are in a fallen world and its a promise. Jesus says it in John 16:33 “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” 

Now, I am not afraid of trials. I know I will be refined and grow into the person God wants me to be as a result. I will also have compassion for others going through similar circumstances.

Day 7 Prayer: Dependence

  1. Pray your family would become more dependent on God and less dependent on the things of this world.
  2. Pray for a humble heart for you, your spouse, and kids. When you see someone struggle to ask for help on a task, pray that they would be able to get rid of pride and ask for the help they need.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

family, marriage

New Year: Day 2 Prayer

JPEG image 3.jpeg“A new commandment I give to you that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

Since we are talking about relationships and the importance of them, I thought it would be appropriate to have that be our next prayer for our spouse and children.

Relationships are a hard thing. They can be complicated and fun at the same time. Sometimes we find ourselves emotionally farther away from our spouse than we intended. How many times have we yelled at our kids when five minutes before we prayed for patience that we wouldn’t raise our voice?

We often hear it’s the quality of time that matters with relationships. I would say, quality yes, but far too many times I think we use that as an excuse not to spend the quantity of time that we should be spending with our families. I don’t want my family to get my leftovers. My desire is to give them an engaged wife and mom that they want to spend time with.

Day 2 Prayer

Thank God for His blessings and for the people He has brought into your life.

Myself: Thankfulness for the relationships that I have and for my wonderful husband and kids.

Spouse: Pray for strong male friends that will help him with His walk with Christ, not hinder it. Pray for his family relationships, that God would enable him to mend any family relationships that aren’t good. Pray for his relationship with your children. That he would be able to spend time with them and even share a few laughs together.

Kids: If you have more than one child, pray for compassion between kids. If reconciliation needs to happen, pray that they can resolve the issue in a Godly manner. Pray for a mentor for your child/children – someone who they can confide in and can give them good Godly advice. Lastly, pray for your relationship with your children. That you would be able to see what God sees in them.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9

marriage

New Year: Day 1 Praying

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

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It’s New Year’s Eve and my family has all been sick with stuffy noses, sore throats, itchy-watery eyes – classic cold flu symptoms. Some of us have been sick since Christmas. Some are just starting the unwelcome illness. Regardless, I have been doing a lot of thinking lately as the old year winds down and the new year begins.

I am not one that makes New Year’s resolutions. Most of the time the resolutions fail, leaving people feeling worse than they did before. However, I do think goals are a good thing especially when you go to God first to ask what things He would change in your life.

My husband and I get asked one consistent question quite regularly…”What are your parenting secrets? It’s usually followed by a similar question of, “How do I get a marriage like yours?” We usually laugh it off, but try to give some advice. These are serious questions and the short answer is…God.

I feel that our society is lacking relationship. I see it everyday. We are so busy and even when we think we are doing something “good” for someone and/or our communities, usually our close family relationships suffer as a result.

Our motto at Cherith Brook Baja is Love the One in Front of You. I believe its what Jesus did and He is our example. He spent time with people. He ate with them, listened to them, spoke into their lives, and gave them what they needed. He didn’t give them what they thought they needed – He gave what He knew they needed.

All that to say, I want to encourage families to have real relationship. Put the cell phone down, spend time loving on, talking and listening to, and feasting with your families.

So, instead of a resolution, I would like to do 30 days of praying for our children and spouse. If you would like to join me in this, each day I will post what I am praying for specifically. You will begin to get a glimpse of what our family has done over the years to get a Godly marriage and to have three kids that walk with the Lord. Please understand, we are not perfect. Our family has its arguments and struggles. I do not claim that our family is the way it is because of a formula. In hard times, we simply cried out. We sought the Lord and sometimes we had to wait for the answer, making us cry out even more.

I believe marriage and families are under attack and I think this is worth fighting for!

So, here is Day 1 of praying…

God first! (I always read my Bible in the morning.)

Myself: Praying that I would be an encouraging wife. I pray my words would bring life, not death to my husband and kids.

Spouse: Praying for his spiritual walk, that he would be the Godly man you have called him to be. That he would be able to show love to me and the kids. This includes being able to say “no” when he needs to and to discipline in a manner that is firm but loving.

Children: Today I am praying for their spiritual walks as well. That they would have their own relationship with God, so they can combat the lies this world sells them.
(Even though our children are older, I still pray for them everyday.)

“…and what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8