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"Besting Our Bellyachers: One Mom's Prayer"
by Barbara Smith

Imagine a homeschool home, midmorning when variations on a familiar homeschool theme begin to resound: the oldest (or youngest, or the middle) child cops an attitude challenging Moms assignment, a chore, or a conversation. The tone rises and sours. BOOM! (Fill in the dialogue from memory.) Tears flow and doors slam. Lessons languish.

Mom is tired of her standard response, for it does not diminish the friction. Is she expecting too much for the children, especially the older ones, to adjust their attitudes?


But sometimes the most important lessons on attitude adjustment we teach our children is by observation -- letting them watch what our words mean. Confession, prayer, repentance, Lordship, submission, sanctification all come with impressive theological definitions, but their meanings are better observed than memorized!

My husband and I would never have been drawn into such a closer dependance on God if He had not given us wonderful children who have sprouted through some harsh growing seasons. God also gave me a dear sister in Christ, who literally prayed DAILY for me and with me about the opportunities for prayer our children presented. Though she is out of the country, (where she serves a missionary to refugees in Austria), her example of faithfully going before the Throne of Grace, praising and pleading is the best comfort I can offer you, who might be reading this with a hurting heart.

I am walking into that glorious room with you now, for as we walk and pray for your children, I am praying for mine. (Jeremiah 17:12) Ah, righteous and holy Father, how good you are to have given Your son so that we have the freedom to pray about the sons and daughters you gave us.

Forgive each of us for failing to be the mother we should be. Cleanse us from our unrighteousness and fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we may serve you anew by caring for these young people. (Psalm 113:9)

Please Father, increase in our lives as you MUST increase in their hearts! (John 3:30)

Thank you for Jesus who knows all about being a young person. God, Nazareth was not so different from where we live, was it? The temptations to wander from your will were the same, just wrapped in different packages. When these temptations came, they came to a human heart a perfectly human heart. For Jesus' heart was *not* "more deceitful than all else . . ." (Jer. 17:9) But, Oh Father! Our hearts, and the hearts of our children are deceitful than all else and is desperately sick!

Thank you, Jesus, that you know what it is to be a busy young person, learning at home, working at home worshiping in a local congregation. (Heb 2:18, 4:15-16)

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you willingly humbled yourself so that you might know "boredom," "frustration," "fatigue," a "fantasy" life . . . that can overtake a young person's life. (Philippians 2:5-13)

Thank you, Lord, that when you were young, you had to yield to a mother and father's instruction when you knew a better way. (Luke 2:42-52)

Thank you Lord that you know what it is to have acquaintances who do not have to obey what you have to obey. (Luke 22:42) And as our High Priest, Lord Jesus, we come and lay our children on the altar: they are yours, they were yours since the beginning of time. (Genesis 22:2)

We believe that you have plans for them, plans to prosper them and give them hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11-14)

We forget too often that no child can wander out from your gracious sight; if a hurting heart has forgotten this truth, strengthen please their confidence as you build it again in me! (Matthew 10:29-31)

Father, line up our "expectations" for our children with YOURS! Line up our hearts with Yours, so that whatever happens to them, our trust in You does not shake by the circumstances YOU allow. (Luke 7:23)

And dear Lord, you know our children's needs, hurts and hopes please meet them and rule their hearts. Be real to each precious soul Lord Jesus. Only YOU can make yourself real to a human heart. Open each one's eyes to his or her great need of you. Move them now to cast themselves wholly upon you for you cares for them. (1 Pet 5:6-8)

Keep us on our knees, Father, to resist the schemes of the enemy.

May we be examples before them even without saying a word, of women who trust you completely as you mold and shape our children's characters.

Love in Christ,


© Barbara W. Smith 1999 all rights reserved
Permission is given to reprint any of Barbara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and Web site address.

Please send a copy of the publication to:
Third Floor Publishing
PO Box 827
Arnold, MD 21012

We hope our thoughts encourage you in the Lord Jesus Christ who has enabled us to do exceedingly abundantly more than we could have asked or imagined -- please let us know what YOU think. E-mail us at workbook@toad.net. (Please don't forget to include your e-mail address with in the body of the message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient e-mail addresses.)


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Hebrews 6:19

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