Hey everyone! Welcome back to the Social Nanny. I am so glad that you have joined me today! It’s been a great few weeks with you while we talked and learned about the different age groups of children, what they need, and their general characteristics. I think that it’s incredible while we can gain knowledge, as Christians, the Holy Spirit gives us discernment for every single situation that we are in, including raising children. It’s so good to know that the Holy Spirit leads and directs us just as He promised in John 16:13. This week, I will be introducing a talk about relationships between caregivers and families, more specifically, how I believe that God has modeled this relationship for us in the Word.
As I was praying for God to give me a scripture that I could base my business upon, He led me to the book of 1 Samuel. In chapter 1, we are introduced to a woman named Hannah who is married to a man named Elkanah. Now Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah was able to give birth to kids, but Hannah was not. Saddened, when the family went to Shiloh to worship the Lord, she went directly to the house of the Lord, bowed at the altar, and prayed for God to bless her with a baby. She promised that if He did, then she would dedicate him back to the Lord. When the high priest, Eli, saw her praying and heard her request, he blessed her and told her that God would answer her prayer. Later, Hannah gave birth to a son and named him Samuel. When Samuel was weaned, she took him back to the house of the Lord and left him there with Eli to be brought up as a priest and to be trained under the guidance of Eli. Samuel grew up to be a great prophet that God used mightily.
God revealed a few things to me in this passage that deal with the relationships between families and caregivers. The first was this: God wants to be number one.
When Hannah was grieving, she went to the Lord. He was the one who heard her cry and blessed her with Samuel. We have to remember that the Lord blesses us with children, whether they are ours or the ones that we help care for. We must always be sure to point them back to the Lord.
How can we be sure to point kids back to God? Here are a few easy ways to let your kiddos or the ones that you are caring for acknowledge God.
How often do we assume that because we are Christians that everyone around us knows? I know that I do this a lot! The easiest way to point kids to God is to talk about Him! When encouraging or correcting, use scripture. Make sure that you guard your speech and speak life, not death. Try to minimize your complaining. Talk about what God has been showing you in the Word and how God is shaping your life. Read the Bible together. Allow the kids to speak on what God is showing them as well. This conversation should be one that is constantly flowing, and although it may be difficult to initiate, when habitual, it will be so rewarding!
Sometimes, talk is cheap. The kids around you look to you to set an example for them in your actions as well. Be patient and show love. Wear kindness like a garment, and keep your promises. (This includes promises of discipline!) Let the kids see you pray and involve them in your prayers. Give to others generously. Volunteer your time and resources. Be attentive to the kids in your life, just like God is always looking out for you and your needs. Put that talk into action, and make sure that your words aren’t empty.
This one is probably the most important; even if your speech and actions line up with each other, if your heart isn’t connected to the Father, then it’s all in vain. I’ve lived this out in my life. I’ve had times where I was living hypocritically by saying the right things and doing the right things in front of the kids I was with, but I was not spending time with God. And guess what? Those kids didn’t follow my example. They didn’t listen to my words. It was like they knew that they were empty and came from a place of memorization instead of communion. When I was in communion with the Father, even if the kids didn’t respond like I thought they should, I always saw how the Holy Spirit would work on them even when I didn’t have the words to say or didn’t necessarily act out the right way each time. He would challenge both me and the kids, and He would always move!
Hope that this little tidbit helped! Join us next week as we continue our relationships and representation talk!