18 Feb Stay in your lane
by Brittany Gilbert
We live in a time when opinions are everywhere and it’s difficult to feel confident in anything you do because as soon as you do, an article or story pops up telling you that you’re doing it wrong. Parenting is one of the hardest areas to feel confident. There are so many methods and so many “experts.”
Sadly, a lot of the advice people receive is from their peers, those going through similar journeys at the same time. While I’ll be the first to say my friends are some of the wisest people I know and I learn so much from them, I also have learned the value in seeking wisdom from the generations who have “been there, done that.”
After a conversation with a group of moms who have already raised their children or have children older than mine, I came out with wisdom on how to build faith in my home.
Faith is the main area I want to make sure I get right with my children. 3 John 1:4 says “No greater joy than to hear my children are walking in the truth.” However, I struggle with feeling like I’m not doing enough, that I have to accomplish more and I need to read more books or listen to more podcasts. While these can be helpful, I’ve actually found the opposite to be most helpful. I think for the most part, constantly searching can trip you up the most. So, how do you build the faith of your children and have a home that is filled with intentionality?
Keep your legacy in mind
Remember, you are something greater than yourself and that our small narrative is a part of the big story. Your story isn’t the story of the person on social media telling you that you should parent your kids in a certain way. They don’t have your particular kids and their individual personalities or your personality and unique giftings as a parent.
There is a real enemy who is after your legacy, so pray for not just your kids, but also your descendants. It’s easy to feel like we live in a small story, but give God the small moments and watch as He transforms your life.
Find your values
It’s easier to stay true to the things you want whenever you are aware of what your values are for your family. You can tune out the loud voices of questioning and uncertainty whenever you have a vision and clear values. Then, as Deuteronomy 6:7 says, “Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”
Prayer is the No. 1 strategy
When you are not sure what to pray, pray the word. The Bible is our biggest and best defense and training material for our lives and family. Also, speak words of encouragement over your children, regularly. It may feel weird at first, but after a while it becomes comfortable, and you will see the fruit of speaking scripture over your children and family. I do this not just at “normal” prayer times, but also in the car as we go from place to place and whenever I notice a need. If you visit our home, you’ll notice scriptures written on Post-it Notes and posted on the walls throughout our house. I chose scriptures for our kids that I wanted to be prayed over them consistently and help instill the values we have for our family.
Lastly, stay in your lane
Remember that other families are driving the course they believe is best for their families. Their values may not be the same as yours, and the way they get to their destination may take you down the wrong path. It’s also really difficult to stay in your lane when you’re watching families in the other lane. Don’t let watching a highlight reel from others on social media make you swerve. It’s a set up for comparison, and we all know the saying “comparison is the thief of joy.”
My favorite quote from a friend in the meeting I mentioned above was, “You don’t have to do it all right to have good/normal kids who love the Lord.” It’s not about being perfect, it’s about staying true to the vision and values God gives you for your family, and then falling towards the Lord whenever you do fail, which will happen. He’s a good Father.