Our children believe it or not are not just cute mini-me's of ourselves, nor accessories to tote around at the mall or class reunions. Our reasoning and ability to have children is to replicate ourselves as believers. God's command to be fruitful and multiply was not only to have a legacy of our own or "to continue the family name" but to fill the earth with other believers! Our reasoning and ability to have children is to replicate ourselves as believers.
Thus, the questions we should consider when thinking about how many children we should have should not be:
"How many children can we afford?"
"How many children work with our schedule?"
"Everyone in my family has ___ number of children so let's continue the tradition."
"We need to have an even number of children, so let's have two or four children."
Instead the question we should ask is "How many children can we properly raise and instruct according to God's will?" or "How many children can we properly lead to Christ to be true disciples on earth?"
Parenting can be no cake walk so how do we effectively raise and instruct our children according to the word of God? Once the cute baby faces grow into headstrong toddlers and children how in the world do we as parents take control to properly lead them? Three simple words: Prayer and Confession.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving make your requests known to God.And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus".
What better stance to take than to pray about any and everything regarding our children! While it is great to seek wise counsel from others, it should not override the power of prayer and direct guidance and counsel from the Lord. You can start by doing the following:
1. Ask the Lord to reveal each child's strengths, interests and passions.
Remember our children are apart of the body of Christ and as much as we would like them to they are not designed to be stellar at everything! Our job is to identify their strengths, interests, and passions to properly train them in those areas. As parents sometimes we can force our children to engage in sports, extracurricular activities, certain types of schooling, etc. that they were never meant to partake in. The result is usually frustrated parents, children and wallets. Instead, we need to seek the Lord on what each child's needs are in each season of life to maximize their God given talents, gifts and abilities.
2. Confess and affirm the word of God over their life.
The Word of God is true: "Life and death is in the power of the tongue" Proverbs 18:21. Positive affirming words coupled with the word of God will have profound results. I have personally seen the power of confession over and over in my family's life. It is actually how our son was potty trained! Here is a list of confessions that I speak over my son's life:
Every six weeks or so, I intentionally ask the Lord what I need to confess over my each of my children's lives. I update the confession list every six weeks to make sure I am covering the needs of my children in the current season. The last thing I want is to give the enemy a porthole because I am saying the wrongs prayers for wrong the season.
Granted all prayers are great however the goal is to hear what the Lord has for our children now! Sometimes the Lord gives me a few items to focus on and other times He gives me an entire list. Don't be alarmed if the Lord gives you an entire book of items to focus on as He may be giving you life long items of prayer. I always thank the Lord for giving me the items to proactively pray for versus praying in retrospect.
Once I have my list of confessions I find a scripture to support the confession. "For the word of God is living and active and full of power. It is sharper than any two edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit and of both joints and marrow, exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12. Scripture is our ammunition to see results in our children's lives.
Here is an example:
(Child's name) has a pure heart and treats other people with love and respect.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" Matthew 5:8
"Love your neighbor as yourself" Mark 12:31
"Lord I declare (child's name) is blessed as he/she maintains a pure heart. I decree that he/she is kind and loves his/her neighbors as himself/herself".
Once you have the confession and scripture you are ready to speak them out loud and believe that what you are confessing will come to pass!
3. Have your child join you in speaking the confessions.
If your child is of age to do so, have them join you in speaking the confessions and scriptures over their life. This will build their spiritual confidence and compass. I will occasionally bring my children in my prayer time so they can see what prayer and confession looks like.
Let's be good stewards of the children the Lord has blessed us with. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!