Maybe it’s just me, but lately I’ve been having a hard time making choices. Some of the choices I’ve had to make are not super important like, “Where can I eat out with my hubby that serves healthy food?” or “Should we go out to eat since I’m trying to eat healthy or just eat at home?” Other choices though are more important for sure, such as, “How do I balance work, family and other tasks, especially since I am not as young as I used to be?” I feel like I still have many more stories, blogs and dreams inside that I think are God-given dreams and yet part of me wants to kick back, take it easy and retire. Maybe you are a young mom and you are thinking, “When can I go back to work full time?” or “How do I balance work life and family life?”
Another one of my questions lately has been, how can I walk slowly and really care for others and yet still balance work and family? I see so many people, more so than ever who need a hug, an encouraging word, a meal, a listening ear or just someone who cares and yet I feel like keeping up with work, writing and family is truly all I have time for. Who is going to care for those who need someone in their lives? Who is going to help those who have felt and are continuing to feel isolated after a year or more of COVID? Who is going to go to battle for the marginalized, the poor, the needy? I really don’t know! Should I retire simply so I can care for the hurting more? I don’t have an easy answer except that perhaps we all need to care for a little more.
Choices! Oh God, how we need wisdom to make good, right choices and walk in your ways.As for our kids, don’t we all want our kids to learn to make wise choices? As much as we would like to hold on to our kids forever, our job as a parent is to help our kids get to the point where they are capable of making more and more decisions on their own. I know, my kids are grown, but as for the baby in that picture, I’m sure her parents would like to hang onto her for quite a while longer. But our job as parents is to slowly let go, giving our child more and more freedom to become who God created them to be. That’s a huge task! We need God’s wisdom and our kids need God’s wisdom to make good choices. How do we accomplish that task? On our knees! It helps to know too, that our kids are in God’s hands. He is more interested in them having a relationship with Him and following His commands than we are.
As a teacher and now great-grandparent, I like giving kids choices as long as they are choices that I can live with. Giving kids free rein or giving in to their every whim is not a good idea! When we give choices that we can live with, then we are enabling them to think on their own within safe boundaries. Some simple choices might be – “Would you like an apple or an orange with your lunch?” or “Would you like to wear your red sweater or you blue jacket?” Let’s encourage our kids to make wise choices and give them opportunities to do so.
As for you and I, whatever stage of life you are in, we also can make wise choices. How? The answer, I believe, starts on our knees. King Solomon made a wise choice in asking for wisdom. Father God, I’m asking too, “Give me wisdom to live for you and to teach my kids to choose wisely.”
PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER:
Thank you for your love for us and our kids. I know I need wisdom. I need wisdom to make wise choices and to know how to live for you daily. How can I teach my kids or my grandkids to make wise choices when I struggle with knowing what to do? Teach me to look to you daily. I know that one of the wisest choices I can make is to slow my pace and seek you daily. I need to make seeking you a priority. Remind me to love you, and to love people especially my family. Amen
HELPING OUR KIDS MAKE CHOICES
- Give your child simple choices to make that you can live with.
- Give grace when you can. We all make mistakes and misjudge at times. Whenever you can, give your child grace for a mistake or poor choice. The natural consequences of their actions can often be enough to help them learn to make better choices in the future. Giving grace can be as simple as helping your child clean up the ‘mess‘ from his or her mistake without doing it for them. Remember you and I need grace too.
- Model the behavior you wish to see in your child. Things such as saying, “Please.” and “Thank you!”, praying, taking time to really listen to others and taking responsibility for our own actions are all good choices that our kids learn as they watch us. Serving is a good choice too.
- Do set limits or boundaries and reinforce consequences, but do so with kindness and consistency. Work together with your spouse to set appropriate limits and also to reinforce the consequences you set. Remember the boundaries you set for a 2 year old will be different than for a 5 year old or a 10 year old. Gradually give your kids more freedom as they can handle more responsibility. Use natural consequences such as cleaning up when something is spilled whenever you can. Setting limits can be fun or silly too. Such as counting to 10 when a please or thank you is forgotten – hey mom or dad, you can count to 10 too!
- Show empathy when your child makes a poor choice, but don’t immediately jump in to rescue them unless of course the choice they make is a dangerous one. We can all learn through failure. A poor test score, a lost toy or a scraped knee can be a good reminder to be more diligent.
What Can You Do With Your Child This Week?
SHARE A STORY: King Solomon Asks For Wisdom – 1 Kings 3:4-15
When Solomon became king, he went to worship (or offer sacrifices to) God. As he was sleeping, (Pretend to sleep.) God came to talk to him. God said, “Solomon, ask me for anything you would like me to give you.” (Hold hands out as though offering a gift.)
King Solomon said, “Lord God, you have made me king, but I am like a child. I don’t have the wisdom I need to be king to all these people. Give me the wisdom I need to rule your people well. Help me to know the difference between what is the right and what is wrong.”
God was happy (Smile.) that King Solomon asked for wisdom. He was happy that Solomon wanted wisdom to listen (Put hand by ear.) and make good decisions. God said, “Because you asked me for wisdom, I will give you (Hold hands out as though offering a gift.) what you asked for. I will make you wise and intelligent and I will also make you rich and give you a long life if you follow me and obey my commands.”
King Solomon was thankful (Put hands together as though praying) that God was giving him wisdom. He wanted to know how to do and say what is right. He wanted to know how to help all the people in his kingdom. He wanted to make good decisions.
God wants you to be wise too. You can start learning now while you’re young, how to make wise choices. God will help you. He will help you know what is the right thing to do. He will help you know how to treat other people and He will help you live for Him. Ask God to give you wisdom, just like King Solomon did. One very wise choice is to listen to what God says in the Bible and follow Him. He made you to love Him with all your heart. Let’s ask God to help us love Him and make good, wise choices everyday.
Dear God, You made me and you love me, thank you. Thank you for giving me ears to listen and a brain to learn new things. I want to make wise choices. Help me to listen and learn from your special book, the Bible. I love you with all my heart. Amen
KNOW: God will help me make wise choices.
TALK ABOUT: What are some wise choices?
ASK: Who made you? God made you.
AND DO: Ask God to help me know what to do.
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK:
- Read a Bible story together.
- Give your child simple choices and praise him/her when they make a wise choice.
- Talk about a few good simple rules – write your rules down.
MEMORIZE: Prov. 8:10 NIrV – (Hands open like holding a book.)
(‘God says’ is implied) – (Point up.)
Choose my teaching – (Clap hands.)
Instead of silver – (Rub fingers together.)