"I don't feel like reading my Bible."
"I don't feel like going to church."
Let's face it, there will be times when our kiddos don't feel like doing what is right, or even what is good for them. And, if we are honest, we'd agree that there are times we feel the exact same way.
So what do we do when we hear those "I don't feel like it" statements?
1. Remain on the same team. It is too easy to become the person who points the finger rather the one who puts their arm around a kid who is struggling. Especially if we are fearful about the scenario we see playing out. Don't let that happen to you! Remember that we have an enemy and it is not one another. This little one next to you may be feeling like a weary traveler who is simply in need of a little encouragement to do the right thing, not a lecture.
1 Peter 5:8: Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil,
prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
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2. Assess what appetites you have been feeding. As much as we do not like to admit it, we have two distinct and separate appetites (the flesh and the spirit) and the one we feed, is the one that grows. If the mental food that has been going in is a stumbling, a gentle talk about God wanting what is best for us may be in order. Just as a parent knows that broccoli is healthier than chocolate bars, our heavenly Father knows that we need to "pluck out" things that are not healthy for us. Even influences that are not sin can become sin if they take over our lives in an unhealthy way.
Mark 9:47: If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out;
it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye,
than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell.
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3. If a Course Change is in Order, Get Agreement First. It is too easy for us to switch from low to high gear in the blink of an eye and loose our troops in the process. Like a pendulum on a clock we tend to live in extremes. Our kids are not being patient? Well, then they should read the Bible 100 times a day! Our kids have been watching too many videos? Well, then from now on we watch none! Ever! Or... until we swing back to the other side in a month (or a day!). If I learned anything in Project Management, it was that if you want success in rolling out a new program, you needed to connect with people and give a vision about the future hope before changing direction. If they fell in love with the vision, then 90% of the work was already done in changing course.
Proverbs 29:18: Where there is no vision, the people
are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.
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4. Be Real/ Choose "I Wills." Keeping it real could not be more popular. We love real, humble people who have been there and speak truth. Our kids feel the same way. Be real. Share that you struggle with the same things at times. Share how the Lord has grown you as you have chosen the "I wills" of Scripture:
"I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart,
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High..."
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David was like us. He had to resolve to praise with his whole heart and resolve to speak of God's goodness. Help your kids have a Psalm 9 experience by sharing David's words; taking time to sing a couple of favorite hymns or spiritual songs and remind one another of God's marvelous works.
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
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We will not always feel like doing what is right. But as we resolve to find ways to engage our whole heart; declare our thanks for God's works and sing His praises, we will feed the spirit and turn the tide.
Blessings to you!