Yes. Seeking God and parenting do go together. They work together.
Did you know that?
I’m sure you did. Like I did… but actually, practically living that out? Overwhelming.
A study of the Kings in the Bible has given me a little insight into HOW we can parent in all things by seeking God.
One of the things I’m learning as I study the kings is to realize how their devotion to God effected every area of their life. It effected their children, the entire kingdom of Israel and their hearts.
We can learn so much from their mistakes, their lives, their families, and their relationships with God.
How do men, who have been blessed by God, turn from him?
How do children, who grew up with idol-worshipping parents, grow up to honor God?
How did Israel go from being the one nation blessed by God to two nations divided against themselves, not serving God but allowing horrible things to go on in their lives?
How did allowing idol worship to go on in the kingdom, though not participating themselves, turn their children from God?
Great questions… all with answers that can help us today.
We recently talked about raising children who are not swayed by the wind in their devotion for God. We talked about the struggle it takes to pour into them spiritually every day.
Something I learned this week, while reading about these kings, was that we need to seek God in each of these areas of struggle. We can’t do it on our own. We can’t rely on our own understanding of the situation. We can’t depend on our own wisdom to get us through.
We have to actively pursue God’s direction as we raise our kids and fight the daily battles of the world around us.
The Bible tells us that Jehoshaphat “was devoted to the ways of the Lord…” He told King Ahab of Israel to “First, seek the counsel of the Lord.” In II Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat was faced with an army coming against his kingdom. Verse 3 says, “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord…” If you read the battle that takes place in chapter 20, you will see how God honored Judah and gave them a victory over their enemies.
What are some ways we can seek God for direction?
Seeking God in our Parenting
Fasting – read the last part of II Chronicles 20:3 “…and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek Him.” Do you and your husband fast for your children? Do you seek God together for answers to parenting struggles? One thing about fasting – Read Zechariah 7. This is a story about people who did not have the proper attitude while fasting. Verse 6 goes so far as to question their sincerity to God in times where they weren’t fasting. Also read Isaiah 58. Verse 2 says, “For day after day they seek me out, they seem eager to know my ways… yet on the day of fasting you do as you please.” Fasting is a powerful way to grow closer to God, but remember God sees the heart.
Fasting by Jentezen Franklin – one of my favorite resources
Spending time in the presence of God – The end of Isaiah 58 talks about remembering the “Sabbath”. This is a lost idea in our culture. We need to get back to taking a day to rest in the Lord. II Chronicles 20:13 says, “All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.” This was a family event. They chose to seek God together.
Praise – II Chronicles 20:21 says, “After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” Even before the battle began, they were praising God and they witnessed God fight the battle for them and give them victory.
Of course, there are other ways to seek the Lord.
The key is remembering to seek Him in all things.
At the end of Jehoshaphat’s life, he started a business with Ahaziah, king of Israel, before seeking the Lord. The business ended in failure. Not one ship sailed. That is the last recorded event of Jehoshaphat’s life.
Don’t let that be your story.
Don’t forsake seeking God for your every need.
For me, it was a reminder to seek God first, not during or last, go to him the moment something comes up. He desires us to seek him. Write this scripture down and put it where you will see it this week.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6