“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:26 – 27 (NIV)

Somehow I had bought into it. Believed that if I did everything “right”, my kids would all turn out “right”. I’m not quite sure why I thought kids’ lives were the same as the math equations I taught them each day. If I stayed at home, added extra Bible reading and memorizing, factored in our church commitment – voila! The end result would be kids who were crazy about Jesus. That’s how it worked in my life, so isn’t that how it worked?

The part I didn’t allow for was free will. So when that free will started to become apparent in the life of our first born, I was thrown off. To be more honest, I wanted to hide. Doubt and questions about faith scared me. I wanted to yell “Just believe!”

Heart Change — 21 Days of Prayer for Sons Challenge via The MOB Society

That is when Jesus taught me, “You wrote your own story with me. Now it’s time for your kids to write their individual stories with Me.” That is when my perspective on raising God-loving children really changed.

Yes, since that revelation I’ve continued to pour God’s truth into my children’s’ lives, but I am more intentional now. Instead of seeing them as empty vessels that are my responsibility to fill, I see them as God’s children on a journey of discovering Him just like I did. And while their path might look similar to mine, it most likely will not. My kids are individuals and God will draw them in a way as unique as they are.

To make this sound easy would be a far cry from truth. There have been many early mornings and late nights of tears, wishing I could write their stories. I haven’t liked some of the turns. Some twists in the road have been down right terrifying, but I am learning every day, if their hearts are going to change, only Jesus can do it.

As I look up today’s key verse, I see a date many years ago scrawled in my Bible. No doubt from one of those early mornings with Jesus. My time to pray and reinforce His promises in my heart. It is there, with Him daily, I am reminded He can bring a heart change. He can give a new heart; a new spirit.

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Have you given much thought to what God expects of you as a parent, versus the areas that are really more His job? Maybe like me, you’ve thought of kids as 2 + 2 = 4.

Make a list in the comments of things you think are your job, and ask God what’s your responsibility and what ultimately is His.

Throughout the day, pray the ten scripture prayers found at the end of the Heart Change chapter!

Familypic2013-1024x680Lynn Cowell is a Proverbs 31 speaker and the author of several books including her newest Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants. Her passion in speaking and writing is empowering wise women to raise wiser daughters. Her husband and their three children live in North Carolina where they love to hike, raft and enjoy anything combining chocolate and peanut butter.

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