Wise minds and kind hearts – would you define your children that way? Next in our Scripture passage, the writer prays for – all wisdom (Col. 1:9). For children (and even some adults!), this definitely sounds like a contradiction in terms.
This wisdom Paul prays for is the knowledge of first principles and the foundation of good habits. Children bring laughter, hope, and delight to the world. Their curiosity and creativity certainly make life interesting; their continual wonder at new ideas and understanding is a joy to experience. But, in the midst of all this is a developing brain that is very closely connected to a tender, fragile heart.
Kids might get the immediate consequences of a bad choice; i.e., “My parents are going to be really mad at me,” but they are worse at anticipating long-term consequences.
If I climb the tree I will get in trouble with Dad;
not, if I climb the tree I can seriously get hurt.
If I make fun of a girl in class, it will be funny to others;
not, I will cause her to feel bad about herself.
If I don’t do my homework, I will get a bad grade today;
not, it will affect my learning overall and put me behind in class.
What kids learn at home can compete with what they experience outside the home, and they count on parents to help process these competing influences. Paul’s first principles are the building blocks of character and the guidelines that will develop the character they need to function well in life.
- Pray for your children to grow in understanding of how to choose good relationships. They watch behavior, listen to the reactions of others, and then choose.
- Pray your child will choose goodness, kindness, and right choices over popularity.
- Pray for “declarative memory;” that is, choices made based on what they have learned as right behavior.
- Pray for your children to begin to understand how to relate to people who are difficult or unfriendly; that they will see bullying as wrong and offer friendships to the lonely.
- Pray for understanding that acceptance can happen without compromise.
- Pray for the ability to learn, and to have good study skills and habits, good memory, and excellent relationships with teachers. Psychologists tell us that children who are read to frequently associate a warm, positive feeling with books that carries over to learning in general.”
If your child has special learning needs, pray for the Lord to send the right people into his/her life so that the child can learn in the way he/she needs to learn. Every child deserves the opportunity for moments of achievement.