Parenting: Creating a Safe Space, part 1
On January 13, The Paradox Church kicked off an eight-week series called, “Who Needs God?” We are digging deep into the scriptures to find “the truth about doubt” and Prdx Kids is coming alongside parents in a unique way over the next several weeks.
Through a parenting podcast and blog series, we are going to engage and equip parents to evangelize their kids. You’ll see a common thread of what it means to picture our kids asking the questions each week – starting with creating a safe space. In part 2, I’ll address practical ways to make your home and family rhythms a safe space for your kids to ask questions about God, salvation, and Christianity but first I want to call you to make your heart a safe space for your kids. Here’s what I mean:
The fundamental beliefs you have about your children and their need for Jesus can be found with an honest look at your prayers for your kids. Over my more than 13 years of parenting, I have found that prayer (or prayerlessness) for my children exposes two things:
- What I believe about God. (Is He good, sovereign, and the perfect Father?)
- What I believe about the human condition. (Does my child really need salvation? Can my hope be placed in my own “good parenting” or do I fall short apart from God’s grace?)
If we parents are going to be the primary people having gospel-centered conversations with our kids, if we will (hopefully) be the ones who are leading them to Jesus, then we must settle our hearts before our good God, on their behalf, and pray audacious, hope-filled, scripture-drenched prayers. Before him, we will find our hearts humbled and softened, our parenting motives exposed, and an unshakeable love for Jesus’ glory will prosper. We will surely find a dependence on the Spirit that changes how we pray. It will also change how we talk to our kids because we know “not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us but our sufficiency is from God.” (2 Corinthians 3:5)
We will give you practical things to say or do with your kids as you evangelize them (we’ll even equip you to do that, too!), but it must first start in our hearts as we pray for our children. From here, a tone will be set in our literal tone, in the words we speak formally or casually to our kids, and your kids will take a cue that your home is indeed a safe space because your heart is a safe space for them.
I’d encourage you to pray this prayer over your child this week:
Father, thank you that you have made a way for my children to know you through the precious blood of Jesus that saves sinners like me and my child. I pray that you would expose in me motives that hold image, success, or behavior above the desperate hope that my child would love and know you all the days of his/her life. Please teach my heart a tenderness that treasures your word and your ways above the ways of this world. Lord, make my heart a safe space where prayers are frequent, whether whispered or shouted, that you might be glorified in my home at any cost. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Heather Thompson, Deacon of Prdx Kids