Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?

It's hard enough to be a Christian parent in this world. How do we combat the forces of evil while at the same time raise our children to desire to walk in God's light? By seeking His face, His Word and inspiration from each other as we stumble through this parenting process together. You will find all the instruction, encouragement and resources you need right here at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take to help you be the most effective witness to your child that God would have you be. Look around and come back often. Let's learn together.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Teaching Our Children How To Deal With Problem People

How do we teach our children to deal with problem people? Do we deal with problem people in a way that exemplifies Christ-like behavior to our children?

Since moving into our new home we’ve met some of our neighbors. It’s a nice, quiet tree-lined street of middle class homes where people go to work and come home to watch ballgames on TV and tend to the garden on weekends. Some of our church family lives on our street, which is always a nice plus when you take a stroll and see the same folks you see on Sunday morning.
Photo by Tarwinski

Every street will have a family or two that provides what I’ll call ‘color’ to the atmosphere. Ours lives across the street from us. They are a blended family of three, only, from the almost daily arguments, I’d say they aren’t blending all that well.

Yesterday the arguing got more heated than usual and the participants were liberal in their use of profanity. In fact, it was flying. The most seasoned of sailors would have been blushing. At one point my daughter, who was reading, went up to her bedroom, hoping the colorful language would be more muted.

What do you do? Closing all the doors and windows is unreasonable. Yelling across the street surely wouldn’t help. Having a neighborly chat during a more civil time might work, but it might also create other kinds of problems.

At the argument’s fevered pitch I left what I was doing, stepped out onto the (enclosed) front porch, lifted my hands to the Lord and began praying. I asked Him to place a barrier between our houses to block the bad language from spilling over into our ears. Then I began praying earnestly for the family, that God would reveal Himself to them by placing good Christian people in their paths and that their need for salvation be made evident in a mighty way.

Little did I know that my daughter was praying a similar prayer. When we compared notes later it appeared we were praying at the same time. Was it coincidence that our neighbors immediately ceased fighting within seconds of our prayers? I don’t think so.

I felt, however, that more needed to be done. I took a cue from a recent newsletter from missionary friends and decided to implement spiritual warfare for our neighbors’ souls. And I decided we would do it as a family.

I wrote out Aaron’s blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 on index cards and gave one to each child. We then recited the prayer (yes, out loud) four times: once for our neighbors to the north, then to our neighbors to the east, then to those in the south, and finally those in the west.

Will praying over our neighbors change them? I hope so. But the change will probably come because we’ve changed how we look at them. They’re lost souls in need of a Savior, just like the rest of us. Praying over them may open doors that scoffing at their behavior wouldn’t.

So we’ll try it God’s way. Maybe our children will learn what loving our neighbor really means.

Have you any experience with dealing with ‘problem people’ using prayer? What were the results? I’d love to hear from you.

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What Do We Teach Our Children To Pray For?
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