Prepare and equip us Lord
By Pastor Dale Hoffpauir
I will never forget the moment when we went for our first ultrasound, and my wife Carmen announced to me “There are two! Two girls!” Wow! We had a flood of emotions. The twin reality took us by surprise. We were thrilled and so excited! And yet, we are scared and a bit frightened. We had so much to learn.
Part of our discussions nearly seventeen years ago revolved around raising Godly girls in a crazy culture. God has been so faithful, and we still have a lot to learn, but let me share a couple of things that I think are crucial to bringing up girls who love Jesus and honor Him with their lives.
First, what gets modeled, gets repeated. I believe the best path to a Proverbs 31 daughter is for her to see a Proverbs 31 mom in action. I give all the credit to my incredible wife for pouring into our daughters lives and molding them and shaping them in the little moments throughout the day. Tea parties in the back yard give way to shopping weekends away, but there are so many ordinary moments where values are expressed in how to behave, how to establish boundaries, what to believe about yourself, how to dress modestly, how to serve, and how to express and receive love from others.
For those girls whose mom may not be a part of their daily life and routine, I trust there is a step-mom, a grandmother, an aunt, a mentor that can guide and counsel to fulfill such a critical role. I am so thankful my wife had the role models of a godly mother and grandmothers. If that is not your heritage, be the one to start a new good and Godly legacy.
Second, have lots of conversations. With girls, one could argue there will automatically be lots of conversations. That may be true, but I am referring to intentional conversations. One of my mentors encouraged me to have weekly one-on-one conversations with my kids. He challenged me to “listen for the cracks in their heart.” Where there are cracks, pour in lots of love. These intentional times have been some of the most rewarding and special times.
Don’t make the same mistake I did. Asking questions is great; however, my girls felt like I was “grilling” them with questions at first. Relax, just enjoy the time together.
Many times, the conversation is just about ordinary things, but the relationship is deepening. When the disappointments and fears surface, you have a ready relationship to offer comfort and counsel. These dedicated times together do not have to be budget busters. It might be a walk in the park, a smoothie, or a coffee treat. As a parent, I have no greater responsibility than to help my family follow Jesus. Even as a pastor, my family is my inner circle. Jesus preached to the masses, but He spent a lot of time with a few disciples passing on His values and His priorities. Likewise, as parents, we should spend lots of time with our children. Utilize both formal and informal moments to point them to Jesus and share why you have made the choices you have made.
It is a crazy world and our children are ambassadors to a time and a place that we likely will not see. May God help us to prepare and equip them for His call and purpose for their lives.
3 John 1:4 (NIV) says, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”