I believe the two most important keys to parenting is prayer and the Word. While this may sound like typical Sunday School answers, the longer I parent, the more I am convinced of this. If one of the primary goals of parenting is to shepherd our children’s hearts and if only God can convict and change those hearts, then we are helpless to do so apart from intercession and the Bible.
One of the ways that Sonia and I have applied this is through the giving of “life passages.” Before each of our children were born or received, we asked the Lord to give us a specific passage of Scripture for each of them. For Kristin, he gave Psalm 1:1-3. For Evan, Psalm 139:13-16. For Eden, Psalm 16:5-11. And for Jaren, Psalm 86:11-13. If you knew each of our children’s personalities and histories, you would see the Father’s wisdom in how he perfectly matched His Word to each of them.
While all of the Bible is God-breathed and profitable for all, these selected life verses are to serve as a lifelong encouragement, a guiding truth and a Spirit-empowered life theme specifically for each individual child. At times when they are led astray, I trust that the truth of God’s Word will convict them and guide them back to his path of life. At times when they doubt His purpose and love for them, I trust that the truth of God’s Word will encourage them and dispel the lies of the enemy.
These verses are not only for our children’s benefit but also for their parents’ as well. I don’t know about you, but if you’re like me, you may sometimes find it difficult to know what to pray for your children. As much as we know and love our children, don’t we sometimes find ourselves repeating the same, general, rote prayers for them over and over and over again? When I get stuck, the Word helps me to pray for them specifically in alignment with his will and his truth. Praying scripture and more specifically their life verses for them not only helps me to be precise in what I ask but also to ask in accordance with the things that glorify the Father.
Whether your child has come to you through pregnancy or through adoption, God’s Word is vital for raising them. Study it. Give it. Pray it for your children.