One day I ran across a prayer in the Bible that became my prayer for our children. Maybe you want to jot down the reference in case you want to make it the prayer for your family as well—Philippians one, starting with verse nine. The author, Paul, says, “This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:9-11).
“Wait a minute, Darlene,” you may be thinking, “I can’t remember all that.” OK, let’s break it down into three thoughts we can remember. First, Paul prays that their love may abound. A strong home is not one in which family members have no faults, but one in which each knows how to handle in love the other’s failures. You probably heard about the mom who asked her kids for a Bible verse that tells how to get along with your siblings. Immediately, one of them responded: “Thou shalt not kill.” Learning to settle differences and let love rule how we act is one of the most important things we learn in a family.
The second part of the prayer asks that they may discern what is best. Teaching our kids to discern right from wrong and to have the backbone to choose what’s best takes a lot of hard work and prayer.
Then, the last part of the prayer is that they may be filled with the fruit of righteousness. Nothing brings more joy to a Christian parent than to see their children living fruitful lives for the Lord. People often ask if our kids are in full-time ministry. I tell them, “Not as a vocation, but each is involved in some kind of ministry--missions, teaching, children’s ministry or evangelism. And that brings us joy.”
Remember, that’s Philippians 1:9-11. Check it out!