Children thrive on encouragement and desperately need it to strengthen their young faith. Lately we have had some conversations with our older children in which they express discouragement with their habitual sin and disobedience to the Lord. They desire to do what is right, but feel like they are failing. Their young minds have not fully grasped the abundant grace of God in their lives. (Have any of us, really?)
They compare their faith to ours, when we have been walking with the Lord for many years, and they have only recently come to an understanding of God’s provision for their sin and the grace he freely gives. They need encouragement to continue on, and as their mom I must be their chief encourager.
They see their sin, their weakness, and the life before them and feel that they will never measure up to God’s standards. Though this is true if they are relying on their own efforts, they need to be reminded that Jesus did obey perfectly in their place.
I am often quick to point out their sin and call them to repentance, but struggle to find the words that will comfort their fears, inspire them to obedience, and refresh their souls. It takes time and effort, and knowledge of scripture to speak words of hope and life to them.
But “God employs his people to encourage one another” (Spurgeon) and even more specifically, he employs parents to encourage their children and families to encourage one another.
“When you find a spark of grace in the heart, kneel down and blow it to a flame.”(Spurgeon)
I spend much time correcting, instructing, and training my children and I forget to look for the “sparks of grace” in their lives. Glaring sin and disobedience are plentiful and easy to spot. But those tiny sparks often go unnoticed. I want to see them. I need to notice them.
I don’t want overlook the kneeling down part. Noticing small things in the lives of my children requires stopping and taking time out of my daily mom tasks. I’m writing this down as a reminder to myself mostly…encouraging the children is more important than moving laundry to the dryer or even getting out the door on time. Little sparks will fade out if I run over them, but they can be encouraged into blazing fires with time, effort, and words of life!
Praying for eyes to see the sparks of grace in my children and the words to encourage blazing fires of faith in their hearts.