Intentional Parenting Means Raising Daniels

Intentional parenting means raising Daniels - children who love Jesus and will stand firm in the face of the storm!

The Grand Canyon – beautiful, majestic. It’s one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.  A must see if you can, wouldn’t you say?  And my kids have never seen it.  Until 4 months ago, they had spent their entire lives in Arizona and we had never taken the time to drive up there.

You see, we had always planned to go; but we thought we had all the rest of their childhood to do it.  Little did we know that God had plans to suddenly transplant our family to a new state.

Life has a way of doing that, doesn’t it?  We have a lot of good things that we plan to do… eventually.

But the reality is that we don’t know what lies in store for us tomorrow, next week or next year.  What we have is today. That’s why it’s so essential to parent with the big picture in mind and make the most of each day.

Our culture is changing at breakneck speed. The carnality of our culture, the rapid changes in religious freedoms, the number of young adults rejecting the faith of their families, and the scary violations of parental rights are enough to wake us up to the reality that we really don’t know what tomorrow holds. It’s a fresh reminder to be intentional with TODAY.

It’s in moments like these when I simply have to shut down the noise, quiet my soul.  I love how God is always there, just waiting for me to quiet my mind and listen. Despite my natural inclination to P.A.N.I.C., He reminds me that HE is the God of history. While I’m bound by time and space, He sees the big picture.

Panic melts away and a growing sense of resolve takes its place. God has called me to this place in history. He’s called you, too. He knew what He was doing when blessing us with our beautiful children. He knows their future.

My mind kept going to Daniel {of lion’s den fame}. As a girl, I loved reading about his early years in Babylon, about how he stood firm in his faith, about how he had a huge impact and influence on the pagan culture that had taken him captive.

As a parent, I can’t help but think of his parents. I’m keenly reminded that we need to sow into our children as Daniel’s parents did. Daniel was taken from his home during his teen years and thrust into a hostile culture that sought to re-educate him so that he could serve and believe as a Babylonian. They went so far as to even give him a new name. Instead of Daniel – meaning “God is my judge,” they gave him the name Belteshazzar – {prince of Bel -a Babylonian god}. If you think this was purely coincidence, check out the name changes they gave to his friends: Hananiah {God Who Is Gracious} became Shadrach {Command of the Moon god}, Mishael {Who is Like God} became Meshach {Who is what Aku is} and Azariah {God has helped} became Abednego {Servant of the god Negal}.


Talk about a mind job. The goal of the conquering culture was to reeducate them into currently acceptable belief and have them reject the faith of their roots. And you know what? The Bible alludes to the fact that Daniel and his three friends were the only ones that stood firm. Daniel 1:8 says that “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” He was resolved to stand firm. Despite everything that the Babylonian empire had to offer, he graciously stood firm. God granted him favor and used him mightily. Not only did he maintain an intimate relationship with God, not only did he live in obedience to God – at the risk of losing his own life, but he had a huge impact on those around him and rose to be a leader within the culture.

I couldn’t stop thinking about him this week and the love and care his parents must have devoted to establishing him in God’s truth. It brought me to my knees in fervent prayer and excited anticipation.

My mandate today and every day:

P.R.A.Y.

  • Earnestly pray that God will touch their hearts and that they will fall head over heels in love with Jesus!!!
  • Pray that He will establish them deep in Him.
  • Pray that my children will look to Him for provision and protection.
  • Pray that God will grant them supernatural discernment.
  • Pray that God will reveal to them (and me, too) how He wants to use them to impact the culture.
  • Pray that I will remain steadfast and intentional with these precious years of training and discipling!

P.R.E.P.A.R.E

  • Read the Bible, Study the Bible, Memorize the Bible. They need to be grounded in the TRUTH. When the truth is rooted deep in their hearts it will make it so much easier to weather any wave of false doctrine or worldly influence that might seek to derail them.
  • Apply the Truth. Help my children see how the Word of God applies in day-to-day life as we model how to really live the Christian life. In a culture that bifurcates life into secular vs. sacred, I ‘purpose’ to show my children how to live an integrated life where we live what we believe.
  • Train them to think deeply, listen to the Holy Spirit as they learn to use discernment.
  • Diligently pursue our academic studies. The world needs leaders – full of wisdom and possessing knowledge. {That was the earthly reason why the Babylonians took Daniel and his friends in the first place.}

The battle is never with flesh and blood.  It is spiritual and souls lie in the balance. We need Christians who are grounded in truth and full of compassion.  That is my prayer for our family.

If our children are arrested by the love of Jesus and established in His Word, then nothing can shake them. Nothing that our culture throws at them will sway them.

If our children are equipped with knowledge and discernment and able to engage the culture then they can be used by God to influence and impact people in our community in practical ways, too!

Do I feel equipped to do this? Nope. Is HE able to accomplish this? Absolutely.

I’m up for the challenge. Is anyone with me?

Related Posts:

Mission-Minded Motherhood
Intentional Parenting: Planning with the End in Mind {printable}
Intentional Parenting Means Setting {bite-sized} Goals {printable too!}

Comments

  1. Heather, thank you for this post. I must admit that my reactions to SCOTUS have been quite negative – depression, anxiety, and fear-fear-fear – for myself, for the Church, for my children, for my grandchildren. I have a lot to learn about trusting Christ when the going actually gets tough, which it is going to. Thank you for posting this.

    Hope to see you this weekend!
    Diana

  2. What a wonderful post! Thank you for the reminder. Some of my favorite words in the Bible are “Daniel purposed in his heart”!

  3. How wise you are to realize raising Daniels is the overarching purpose behind all the time and effort you put into teaching your children!

  4. This is why I love you, Heather. Yes, we are raising Daniels–kids that are surrounded by culture as crazy and different as changing their own names. I am with you!!

    a

  5. Love this! This, raising Godly children, is ALWAYS at the front of my mind. I am alwyas concerned about their faith. Is it growing like it should? Am I planting seeds as much as possible? Is my example a positive one? Do they see my faith at work and my trust in God? Do they have an unshakable faith like Daniel or Moses or Joseph, all of whom grew up in ungodly places with evil influences and pressures that were strong for the opposite of right? Thank you for reminding me of what I can do. And to place my faith and my children in God’s hands. Thank you!

  6. Yes, yes and YES! Thank you for these words and I absolutely loved seeing you this weekend. Your heart and love for your children inspires me so. Let’s take a trip to the Grand Canyon next time y’all are in town.

  7. SO wonderful, isn’t it? To really rest and trust in our Great God and His perfect plan and purposes is such a comforting thing!! Yes, He is working out His plans in time and history and He sees the end from the beginning. He is in control and does not do anything amiss. What a blessing it is that the Lord has laid on your hearts to teach and train your children in His Truth for His glory….He is faithful….rest in Him! Hugs, Camille

  8. Hello, this is the first post I’ve read on this blog. I cried because I have the same desires to raise my children strong in the Lord. My oldest child is four and I am about to start my homeschooling journey. This was refreshing. Thank you.

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