To be a lifegiving parent you need the life of Christ within you. Many parenting books focus on technique or methods of discipline. By contrast, Clay and Sally Clarkson’s new book focuses on the kind of parent you need to be to pass on the life of God to our children — hence the title — The Lifegiving Parent.
I love Sally Clarkson’s writings. She always encourages me to love my family more intentionally, more patiently, more joyfully– and her newest book, The Lifegiving Table was no different.
Even before I was finished reading the introduction, I was reminded that no matter what my parenting views or methods, having a relationship with my children is one of the most important things that I can do. I see that now ever more clearly that most of my children are teens or close to teens.
Parenting is hard. I don’t think anyone who as been a parent for any amount of time would disagree. There aren’t always easy answers for the problems we face. Again and again, we need to ask God how to best face the challenges before us. Never is this more true, though, than when one is raising a child who is different.
No amount of correct parenting will produce godly children. We might be able to raise obedient, respectful, well-mannered kids, but only the Spirit of God can change our children’s hearts. That is why prayer is so important.
I’ve always been happy to see my children coloring, especially when they were younger. I figured it was a painless way to achieve better motor skills and improve their handwriting, something that some of my boys really needed work on. There has been evidence that benefits to coloring don’t stop when you grow out of childhood.
I almost didn’t share this post. I thought maybe it’s too real — too honest. And then I thought maybe I’m exagerating the state of my house and of my mind that Sunday evening a few weeks ago. And then also, what can I say that hasn’t been said before?
Tears stood in my eyes as I listened to my son pronounce the words to his speech therapist. “Cat, cut, cow, call.” First the hard c sound at the beginning of words, then in the middle, then at the end. Then the same with the hard g. I was amazed. Every single c and g (at the beginning, middle, and end of words) was perfect.
I’ve been praying lately that God would help us focus on what’s important in our home. I was noticing a shift away from what’s truly important. Yes, our days were still filled with useful, worthwhile pursuits (for the most part), but I was wanting more for our home. I was feeling like the good was replacing what is truly excellent.
I’ve been reading through Proverbs lately and writing down some scripture prayers for my children. I thought I would share them with you to encourage you not to forget to pray for our children. We can do our best to raise good children, and we may succeed in raising polite, obedient children, but without a moving of the Spirit of God, we cannot raise godly children.
Recently there was one of those polls on Facebook that likes to ask senseless questions. You know the kind. The kind that asks you if you’d rather know how to play all the instruments in the world or know all the languages in the world. The ones that often remind me of my four boys who have an endless supply of perplexing questions they like to throw at my husband and me at the dinner table.