Are you a mom after God’s own heart, ready and desirous to be used by God in your children’s lives? Then ask God to help you faithfully pass on your faith and trust in God from generation to generation so your little ones might be boys and girls and young men and women after God’s own heart. Make it the regular prayer of your heart.
Everyone also loves the incredible tales of Daniel and his three friends—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (see Daniel 1–3). These young men—the best of the best—were carried away as captives to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. There they were selected for careful training for the king’s service. I say “the best of the best” because to be prepared for royal governmental service these youths had to be handsome, physically perfect, mentally sharp, and socially poised and polished (Daniel 1:4). But did you know that many scholars believe that when the book of Daniel opens, these four friends are teenagers, likely between the ages of 14 and 17?
And who were the parents of Daniel and his friends? No one knows for sure. But here’s what we do know. This band of four captives was “of the children of Israel” (verse 3): They were descendants of the patriarch Jacob (also known as Israel). They were also “of the king’s descendants” (verse 3). In other words, they were of the family of David. And they were “children of Judah” (verse 6), the most noble tribe of Israel.
But whoever their parents were, the actions and choices these young men made shout out a loud testimony and build a strong case that their parental training was extremely strong and godly. In their teen years, when so many youths are tempted to question or turn away from their upbringing, these adolescents did the opposite. In fact, they were willing to make God-honoring decisions and stand up for their faith… even if it meant death.
Now, imagine your child at age 14 to 17, being separated from you and having to make such hard choices. What do you think your teen would choose? Or if your child is younger, what do you hope and pray he or she would choose?
Are you getting it, dear mom? (I know I am!) As moms after God’s own heart, we must teach, train, and counsel our children every chance we get. God’s truth must be imparted. And we need to pray, pray, pray for God to write our faithful teaching of His Word on the tablet of our children’s hearts (Proverbs 3:3). For who knows—like Daniel and Company— great choices will arise for our beloved children.
A Question to Consider:
Have you genuinely considered and thanked your parents (and especially your mom this weekend) for the sacrifices and love poured into your life? If you childhood was not ideal, who can you thank this weekend for encouraging your spiritual walk?
No matter what your stage of parenting our books for children of all ages will help you guide them into becoming young men and women after God’s own heart:
- A Little Girl After God’s Own Heart, A Girl After God’s Own Heart, and A Young Woman After God’s Own Heart books and accompanying devotionals by Elizabeth George.
- A Little Boy After God’s Own Heart, A Boy After God’s Own Heart, and A Young Man After God’s Own Heart by Jim George.