I could go on. But for some reason, I feel like those goals need to be even more relevant to my day to day living, especially when it comes to my kids. In light of the tragic events in the world, I’m reminded even more how fleeting life can be. It is a stark warning to me in this New Year that not one minute of our lives is guaranteed. Not only do we need to hold our own lives out to God with open hands, but even more so the lives of our children. I can’t help but think of Matthew 6:34, which says:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
This was one of my first favorite verses after coming to know Christ because it reminded me that I was not in control. Today, this verse is just as poignant, but in its own way. God’s promise is that He will never give us more than we can handle and that He will be there with us through it all (Hebrews 13:5). I don’t have any good answers as to why the Sandy Hook shootings happened or why God allowed them to be. But I do know that our God is sovereign and omnipotent. As you begin this New Year, perhaps more cautious and guarded than you have begun any other since you have become a parent, I would suggest you consider these two things:
1. Start each morning renewing God’s promises
As much as is possible, start each day by renewing your mind in the promises God has given us in His Word. Let go of what has happened the day before and focus your energy on the day to come. Do not let any member of your family walk out the door without knowing how much they are loved by you and by God. One way we do this in our family is by reading Jesus Calling each morning: I read Jesus Calling Women’s Edition in the morning before getting ready, and then my kids’ read Jesus Calling for Kids aloud in the car on the way to school. Not only does it help us set our minds on higher things, but it helps unify our thoughts for the day as well. 2. Teach your children to stand up for themselves
As much as we may hate to admit it, there will be a day that our children will live apart from us, both literally on this earth and in heaven. It is imperative that they know who they are, whose they are, and why they believe what they believe. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to, “…always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” It’s one thing for your children to understand your beliefs as a parent, but it is certainly another to have them make them their own. If your children are younger, this can be a difficult concept to grasp. Start by reminding them of God’s essential truths and promises through resources like God’s Promises for Girls. There is also a counterpart for the young men in your life: God’s Promises for Boys.