Kindness, generosity, and humility are just a few traits I want my kids to have, but what others?
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When you pray for your children and their future, what do you pray for? Do you pray for health? Do you pray for safety? Perhaps you pray for their future spouse. How about the character traits they should posses?
I honestly hadn't thought much about praying for the types of character traits I'd like to see in my children before we had them. I thought that modeling the type of behavior we expected would be enough... until it wasn't. That darn sin nature is like a default setting and the lying, selfish, unkind behavior oozes out constantly.
I want my kids to be shining lights of Jesus. I want them to ooze kindness, not selfishness. I want to see them live generously, not hoard what they have. I want their words to be filled with truth, not tainted with broken promises. So we pray for these things. We pray God would help us raise children that are kind and compassionate, generous and responsible. And with our prayers comes a prayer for ourselves - one for wisdom to raise our children as God asks.
Sometimes wisdom from God comes in the form of a great book from a fellow blogger. When we pray for the character traits we wish to see in our kids we usually list off six to eight. At that point I start feeling like I've gotten them all and I'm repeating myself. My brain has never connected that there might be a list of character traits in the Bible that I'd want to see in my children.
But Susan Shipe has!
In her new book, 52 Commands of Jesus for Children, Susan has created a week by week devotional that pulls out the commands Jesus gives in the Gospels and pairs them with a coordinating character trait. Brilliant! Each week includes a reading, discussion questions, and coloring pages. She also offers additional coloring pages on her blog, Hope Heart Home.
As I paged through I stopped on Week 3: Rejoice/Joyfulness and realized that as much as I preach about choosing joy and even try to teach our kids to see the good in each situation, I've never prayed for them to have joyful characters! And the questions are wonderful and perfect for school aged children.
I'm going to use this weekly devotional as a challenge to pray for each of these character traits in my children as we work through the book. They will gain a better understanding of the commands Jesus and how we should live and I will have a focus for covering them in prayer. I invite you to join me in this challenge!
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