Sunday, March 30, 2008

Family First

Family First!
Pray for your Kids

I am so excited about today’s topic I can hardly stand myself. As I told you before, I do not pre-write these devotionals because I want to give plenty of room for the Holy Spirit to move me and most of the time I can (try) to push my own agenda…so when I prayed all last night and this morning for God to show me what HE wanted me to talk about the reoccurring theme was “Family First!”.

What is so great about this phrase is that it has been one I have used in life and ministry for about five years now. The demands of a job, of full time ministry, and life in general can get us (our minds) a little out of balance. So, whenever I had a chance with my staff and team I would always preach the importance of “FAMILY FIRST!” Here’s why…you only get one chance with your kids and they grow up too fast, so be prepared to do whatever it takes to make your family a priority.

Oh ladies, I am so sorry, but I can feel the soapbox coming...hang with me on this one…ok?

Based off the GREAT recommendation of my dear friend Sue (
Praise & Coffee) I bought the book, “Rock Solid Families – Transforming an Ordinary Home into a Fortress of Faith” and I have to tell you it is just simply awesome! In the introduction I knew that the author (Janell Rardon) and I were kindred spirits because the first thing she says is…”Raising a Strong Family is a NOW Job!” I am not here to talk about the book, but if you are serious about leading your family in a “purposeful” way (not by chance, accident, or happenstance) then you need to get this book!

Ok, back to today’s devotional…

I love this verse in Proverbs, and I am sure that most of us have heard it,
Proverbs 22:6, Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

But, what does that mean? How do we go about training up a child?

I think for each family it is somewhat different to your heritage, your core values, and your personality. I’d like to share with you what it means here at the Mashburn house.

Each and every day I pray over the kids before they leave for school AND we have scripture posted by the back door so that it is the LAST thing they see before they step out into the world. Ladies, don’t ever be mistaken…we are IN a spiritual battle for our kids and we need to remember to bathe our kids in prayers each and every day.

So, here’s what we do…
“Father God, thank you for these beautiful boys you have given us. Father I pray that you would help them to..
1) Do the right thing even if it is the hard thing,

2) Be the leaders that you (God) created them to be,
3) Seek you first in all that they do,
4) and Protect them from the temptations that come their way today.
Thank you God for this amazing day. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

Short, sweet, and simple…but powerfully packed. Let me walk with you through the specific things we pray for over them.

1) Do the right thing even if it is the hard thing.
Galatians 1:10
– Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 6:5 - For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

2) Be the Leaders that God created them to be.
Mark 10:43
- But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant,
Romans 12:8 - If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

3) Seek you first in all that they do.
Matthew 6:33
- Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

4) Protect them from the Temptations that come their way today.

1 Corinthians 10:13 - The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
Matthew 6:13 – And don’t let us yield to temptation,but rescue us from the evil one.

There are so many other things that we pray for when it comes to our kids, their future, their spouses (yep, that one is a hard one to pray for, mostly to even think about, but it will happen one day), the call on their lives from God. You name it and we pray for it.

I love these verses in Colossians…check them out below.

Colossians 2:6-7
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

This next verse is posted right by the back door so it is the last thing my kids see before they walk out into the world…

Colossians 2:8 -
“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.”

I do not claim to have all the answers, but I can tell you this. I know the ONE who does. It took me some time to figure out what HE wanted me to focus on for my family, but once I took the time He showed me the answers to what I was looking for. I don’t ever want to take my kids for granted, especially after all we have been through with my oldest son, so I wanted to be more strategic, more focused, on being a better parent. It is not easy, and it is not what the world would tell us to do (it’s all about me in the world), but it is what God has called me to do.

I hope and pray that you were able to walk away with something today that will help you with your families as well. I know that God has laid this on my heart and I can’t wait to see what He does with it.

On Vacation with My Family,

18 Mel's World Friends Comments:

Anonymous 10:43 AM  

That is so beautiful Melissa. I have all adult children, and I have grandchildren so I still and will always continue to pray for them. Never ceasing. I think putting scripture on the back door as they leave is so great!!You will help many moms with this post. And wives for your spouses also. AMEN SISTA!!
love ya,

Mari 11:40 AM  

Great post Melissa! My kids are grown, but our job as Mom never ends. We can never stop praying either and I like your prayer - I'll be using it with the verses. I like the idea of scripture by the back door too!

Mommy Goggles 12:00 PM  

Thank you for visiting me! I love your blog. Very inspiring! I added your link to my friends list, I hope you do not mind. Hugs!

Michele 2:33 PM  

This is fantastic Melissa. Great post.

justabeachkat 2:59 PM  

Loved this post Mel. I know I can always come here for great thought provoking messages.

Happy Sunday!

Ivy Vega from 4:12 PM  

Great Post!


Denise 5:05 PM  

Awesome post sweetie.

The Olson's 6:52 PM  

Great post, Melissa! I agree that we need to do "intentional parenting" with our children. We cannot take things for granted. We have dealt with health issues with both our kids. When our oldest was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 3, I began to take more seriously the fact that my husband & I dedicated our children to the Lord. No matter what happens to them, we need to trust God. Pray lots and trust God!

Thanks for sharing.
~ Leanne

Susan 7:02 PM  

Great post. It kind of goes along with my post today as I watched the fruit of those times that we've chosen to put Family First. I'll tell you, in today's world, it's a lot easier to SAY than to DO.



Nadine 7:20 PM  

Excellent. Now is the time.

Nancy 9:31 PM  

This is sooooo good I will use this example even tho my kids are grown & long out of the house.

Anonymous 9:43 PM  

Hey Mel,that was great. We should never take our family for granted. Love this devotional. Hope you are having a great vacation..Jules

penguinsandladybugs 8:58 AM  

This was a great devotional. I try to pray for my kids often and when I am moved to. Occasionally, I will put my hand on their head and say, "I need to pray for you"--the look on their face is priceless. Yesterday, we were in the store and saw a mom with young children...a set of twins and a baby. The twins were quite noisy. I said to my kids, "I think we need to pray for that mom." So we did. So cool!! I like the idea of having Scripture posted on the door. I also like the simple yet powerful 4 step prayer for our kids!!

Crafty Mama 10:01 AM  

Great devotional! I sometimes forget the power of prayer while rushing to get the kids to school.

Mel's World 10:16 AM  

The verse by the back door was actually something I learned in a service at Willow Creek Community Church, the teaching pastor was Mike Breaux and he said that was something his family did to prepare the kids for "being out in the world". I LOVED IT and incorporated it at our house!

Ally 9:39 AM  

Hey Mel, I loved this and it´s so good to be given ideas..practical ideas to put this Spiritual Warfare into practice otherwise it remains too hight and unreacheable if you know what I mean. I am glad that you shared the prayer... I think I am going to use that. I pray for my kids, but sometimes int he rush it´s easy to be the first thing to get lost. What verse to you put on the door? Thanks for sharing and thanks for your encouragement!

Anonymous 7:23 PM  

LOVE this! So many ideas! THANK YOU!

stacey 10:25 AM  

this is so wonderful! thanks for sharing! i saved it to my email to look at more later. i had been posting our value of the month with scriptures and ideas but fell off the bandwagon~thanks for inspiring me again!

the vacation looks fun!

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