I know that it’s often said that little kids really are watching, listening, and taking note of everything we adults do, but it is so true! Almost a year ago, Jason, Skylar and I started implementing family prayer time into our bedtime routine. To be honest, I can’t really remember how or why it all started, but collectively we agreed that no matter what, when it was time for Skylar (and now, baby Jax) to go to bed, we would all hold hands and pray. Being that Jason and I travel often for our work, we took this pact one step further and maintain our consistency through FaceTime on the days that we are not all together; Skylar actually holds her hand up to the phone screen as if she is really touching the person on the other side. It is one of the cutest things I’ve seen, and trust me with her, there are many.
One night in particular I was reminded of the power that Jason and I hold as parents in regards to our influence over our daughter and son. Skylar and I were saying goodbye to Jason to go spend some time up in Chicago with my family, and out of nowhere Skylar said, “Let’s hold hands”. I thought nothing of it and gave her mine, as did Jason. Then she started to pray… “Dear God (which is how we start it every time), thank you for our family, thank you for this day (followed by a few more thank yous I couldn’t quite make out)”. It stopped me in my tracks, and has come to be the most proud and heart-melting moment as a parent, bringing me to tears.
It’s such a perfect reminder that our children are always watching and always listening to us–even if we think things are going in one ear and out another (which feels like the majority of the time). They truly look to us to show them the way, and they’re going to pick up on the things that we say and do–both good and bad–which makes it that much more important to be intentional with words and actions. It also goes to show that shaping our children’s hearts starts at home. In the midst of everything that 2020 has brought, there is one thing that I know to be true, and that is that we must take responsibility for the little humans that we’re raising. Yes, we live in a broken world, but we don’t have to allow that brokenness to infiltrate the foundation of our homes and our families. Raising my family up in the way of the Lord is the strongest foundation that I can help build, and therefore, it’s a priority.
The night that Skylar prayed for our family way back in February is a night that I will always cherish in my heart. It was such a strong reminder that I always have a little audience of eyes and ears following me around. God most definitely used that moment to remind me that He rewards faithfulness with faithfulness, and that children are only ours to borrow and raise for a short while. So instead of operating under the phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do”, I have challenged myself as a parent to live by a, “Do as I say, and watch as I do” mentality. It starts with us.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6