Devotion and honor. Two words we often reflect on when talking about our relationships with God and our spouse. But what about in regards to our children? In our parenting, how are we reflecting the Biblical principles of devotion and honor? This week, we're diving in to Romans 12:10.
Every person has the innate need to feel loved. We are born with that need. And ultimately, God desires us to seek Him to meet it. One of the ways He fulfills this is through relationship with people in our lives. When these relationships are healthy and God-honoring, that need for love is met - not apart from God, but because of Him.
But how do we receive love? For most people, faithfulness (devotion) and respect (honor) are two of the most important components of a healthy, loving relationship! So, it should come as no surprise that our relationships with our children must also include devotion and honor. These people who we have the honor and privilege of speaking over and in to each day - they not only want, but need and deserve devotion and honor!
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:10 NIV
Be tenderly devoted to one another in brotherly love; outdo one another in giving honor.
Romans 12:10 Tree of Life Version
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Romans 12:10 NKJV
When we are devoted, it is reflected not only in the quantity of time we spend - but in the way we spend that time. Devotion denotes holding something in a place of value - because it isn't simply a fulfillment of requirement, but a voluntary act of commitment.
Our devotion in parenting should be reflected in our consistency. Life is busy. Life is hard. And some days, it is just easier to let things slide. The problem becomes, letting things slide when we're already tired, often leads to a frustrated response once we've had enough. By prioritizing the need to offer our children consistency in our character, our responses, and the rules that govern our homes, we are showing them devotion.
Our devotion in parenting should be reflected in our attitude. When our child comes to us with their millionth question for the day, our response shouldn't communicate annoyance. We can teach our children the importance of patience and not interrupting. We can redirect their attention or inform them that answering questions will need to wait until later. But, if we roll our eyes and sigh deeply, we are doing more than expressing ourselves - we are showing them that what is important to them frustrates us. By handling even annoying situations (because, let's be real, they DO happen!) with grace, we are showing them devotion.
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We all desire to be honored - valued - cherished - respected. And while the temptation to people please can warp this into an unGodly desire, at the root is that need for love that God created us with.
Often, we think about honor as being something that is earned. In reality, Christ honored us above Himself when He gave His life on the cross for our sins. While we were still sinners. The Savior of the world honored us while we were at our lowest. So, how we've come to believe that showing honor to others requires a particular activity, success, or condition on their part is confounding.
Honoring our children should be done through our treatment of them. I am not proposing we treat our children as royalty, encouraging an attitude of entitlement. Not even remotely. But, our treatment of our children should reflect the value that we place of them as the blessings from God that they are. Honoring our children looks like us embracing the truth that our children are blessing and not burdens.
Honoring our children should be done through the way we talk to and about them. Whether we are speaking to our child, to someone else privately, or in front of our child, our words should reflect that we value our children. Idly gossiping about people is typically frowned upon (though often done!), unless it's in regard to our children. There is a significant difference between asking a trusted friend to pray or expressing concern to someone who can offer Godly wisdom - and speaking poorly of or accusing our children. There is the power of life and death in our words, parents! We need to speak LIFE by honoring our children with our words.
significance in parenting children from hard places.
These two concepts are incredibly significant for children from hard places. My dear fellow foster and adoptive parents -
Regarding devotion: I know how hard it can be to parent a kiddo who continues to demand you prove your devotion to them as they push you away. But God. I'm not saying it is easy, I am saying it is necessary and possible because of the grace and love of Jesus.
Regarding honor: When your child has pushed every boundary and their behavior has been everything BUT honorable, honor them any way. Honor them in the way you speak to and about them. Honor them by extending grace and love and seeking the help they - and you - need. Again, not easy. Truthfully, impossible in our own strength. But that is why we rest, friends, in the truth that with GOD all things are possible!
Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 6! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe of little people to follow hard after Jesus are spilled into these posts --- most often written with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope you'll stick around a while and find something - more likely SOMEONE! - that brings you hope!
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