Reliance Upon the Holy Spirit (Part 1 of 4)
Recently we have seen a growing emphasis on the Spirit in the Body of Christ. I know that talking about the Spirit can make some of us uneasy for a variety of reasons.
Even if this is the case, let me encourage you to read on as I believe the Spirit can make our role as parents more enjoyable.
It was actually my wife who led me to consider the Spirit’s role in parenting. As we wrestled with the video-taped interviews of the kids I talked to during the research, we decided to seek a different way to lead our kids. Then this happened.
There was a day we stepped back and allowed the still quiet voice of the Spirit guide as opposed to jumping in with our own answers. My daughter had been caught cheating on a test at school. Instead of coming down on her for cheating and lecturing a question was asked, How do you feel about this?” My daughter said, “horrible.” This led to an amazing interaction where the Spirit became the driving force for change in my daughter’s life. We will explore this interaction more fully in next week’s blog post.
After seeing the amazing impact of allowing the Spirit into parenting, I was forced to begin studying the Spirit in scripture. I was shocked and humbled as I read about the Spirit and all the roles He can play in our lives. In fact I found 32 roles of the Spirit that I had never seen, heard or been taught. A number of these are vital if we desire to be great faith-based parents who raise kids that can face the pressure of the world and continue in their faith.
Prior to my study I had focused on directing, correcting and ensuring that my kids made the right decisions for their lives. This focus seemed natural and correct until I encountered growing issues with our oldest child and began my research. I found that much of what I was doing was intruding on the roles the Spirit needed to play in my kids’ lives. When I began to step back, the Spirit stepped in and our relationships improved. Step back as a parent…???? Yes, I had to step back.
Why? The Spirit can do things in our kids’ hearts that we can only hope and pray for. You may be thinking, “like what?” In Romans 3:4 it states that the Spirit circumcises the heart.
“Certainly not! Let God be TRUE and every man a liar. As it is written: ‘So that You may be proved right when You speak and victorious when You judge.'”
If you have a child that is growing defensive, angry or rebellious, wouldn’t you love to see his heart soften again? I had one of those kids myself. Whenever I tried to bring about change in her, it led to more issues and more hardness.
Another example is taught by Jesus when he said the Spirit will convict the world of sin and of righteousness.
Some of you may be thinking I am good at convicting my kid. I was as well. As I stepped back, I discovered that my playing the convicting agent in my kids’ lives was a bigger issue than I had ever imagined.
Please ask yourself these questions.
- How much do I know about the Spirit?
- How much do I rely upon the Holy Spirit?
- How much do I trust the Spirit to work in my kids’ lives?
If your answers are much like mine once were, let me suggest that you follow me for the next couple of weeks as we explore the Spirit in parenting. I have seen time and time again that when parents begin to leverage the Spirit’s ability to convict, guide and heal their kids, things change much more quickly in their kids’ lives than they ever dreamed possible.
In preparation for exploring how the Spirit can make our lives easier and less stressful as parents let me ask you to do a search of the Spirit in the New Testament. Simply begin reading the verses while noodling these questions.
- What roles can the Spirit play in my life?
- Am I seeking His involvement in this way?
- How does this alter the way I view and or approach my kids?
As you do read you may find, like me, how essential the Spirit is to living a joyful life as a believer.
Next post we will begin exploring practically how the Spirit can change the way we parent and improve our relationship with our kids.