15 Things To Pray To Help Keep You From Legalistic Parenting

A little over a year ago, my book “Grace Gifts: Celebrating Your Children Every Day”  was released. It is a compilation of things that God has taught my husband and I, and is still teaching us, in our parenting journey. It was a scary thing to put it out there. It is precious to me because it God’s story for my family, but I also know that we are all in different places and that some might not appreciate or even like it. I suppose that’s a risk you take when you are a writer. You write down what is in your heart and release it into the hands of God, praying He will use it the way He wants to use it.

The feedback has been positive. I believe God is using it in His own way. I am aware that there are much better books out there and much bigger voices. I am a very small blip in the world of blogging and writing.

I am just so grateful to be a blip!

One of the suggestions that was offered concerning my book was that they wished I would have added more practical ways to transition from a legalistic parenting style.  As I thought over her suggestion, I kept coming back to the same answer:

We are so very desperate for guidance in our parenting journey.There are so many excellent resources out there for parents, but if we aren’t careful we can slip into relying on the resources or other people, rather than relying on God and His Spirit that is ever present, never changing, and always ready to direct! To some degree, parenting philosophies are always changing, even in the Christian community. The only One who truly knows what is best for your family, is never changing, and honestly has your best interest at heart is the God who made your children and who made you a family. He is the one who will lead you and guide you away from legalism.But you must be on your knees asking Him for wisdom!  

With this in mind, I offer you: 15 Things To Pray To Help Keep You From Legalistic Parenting

  1. Pray that God will show you any error in your thinking/believing that you may be walking in.
  2. Pray that God will show you any legalism that is a part of your mindset.
  3. Pray for God to help you understand His grace and that He will show you how to live a life of grace with your children.
  4. Pray over ideas before you implement them into your family life. It may be a great idea in general, but not good for your family.
  5. Pray as you seek God in His word. Ask for His advice before you ask for advice from others.
  6. Pray that God will lead you to people (for counsel) who are seeking God, and who will make it a habit to point you to God before they point you to their opinions or what they did when their children were young.
  7. Pray that you will remember that those character qualities that you so desperately want your children to possess are the same qualities that God is still perfecting in you.
  8. Pray that God will enable you to live out the qualities that you desire for God to produce in your children. and be sure to point it out when there is even a glimpse of growth in your children’s lives.
  9. Ask God to help you to see your children as individuals who are in a process of growth and learning.
  10. Ask God to help your children hear the truth they need to hear each day, and that He will give them understanding.
  11. Pray that you will not put your children under pressure to perfectly live out truths that we as adults can’t even completely understand and live out perfectly.
  12. Pray for God to do a work in your children’s heart.
  13. Pray for the grace to live truth more than you lecture.
  14. Pray for wisdom to know how to make the Word a natural part of your conversations rather than preaching it to your children.
  15. Tell God that you trust that He can work and is at work in your children’s hearts, even if you don’t see any evidence of it happening.

Having a to do list and rules to follow might make it easier for us as parents. Leaning towards a performance based – or legalistic parenting style might comfort us temporarily when we see our children outwardly measuring up to our desires and expectations. But it could be these very things that could keep us from seeking God, relying on Him to do His work in our children, and could ultimately be a hindrance in our children’s growth process.