Parenting from Your Knees

I once asked a guy that has discipled me over many years what is the one piece of parenting advice he could give me. He thought about it for a moment and said “you know, the only thing I ever knew to do was every night, I would go into my kids’ rooms and get down on my knees, and pray over them.” 

This man is extremely intelligent, accomplished in his profession, and a great Bible teacher at that. And rather than point me to a book to read or a strategy to implement, he left me with a profound lesson that I try to use with my two young boys, when I’m not being selfish and figuring that whole thing can wait until next week. To be completely candid, my wife should probably be writing this piece as she has spent much more time practicing this “technique” rather than mostly contemplating it like yours truly.

Job is one of my favorite books of the Bible. Most of us remember that God calls Job blameless and upright. Then, through a series of conversations with Satan, God allows everything that Job had to be stripped away – including possessions, his children and his health. Throughout the horrendous trial, and even borderline mocking from his wife, Job refused to sin against God. Indeed, blameless and upright.

I don’t have space to analyze the confounding next 40 chapters of back and forth between Job and his friends, and then between Job and God, ultimately culminating in Job’s confession and repentance and the restoration of good fortunes to Job in Chapter 42 of the book, because I want to go all the way back to Job 1:4-5.

Here we find Job doing Job things. Job was concerned about the well-being of his kids:

He would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually. (Job 1:5)

It is 3 short verses later that God first calls Job blameless and upright. He couldn’t necessarily shield his kids from everything, but this blameless and upright man knew one thing he could always do for his children – intercede or pray on their behalf.

We all have different thoughts on how to raise kids – discussing different forms of discipline or development techniques of young ones is possibly the modern American Christian’s version of discussing politics and religion in mixed company. Be careful.

But, hopefully it is the least controversial thing ever to suggest parenting from your knees is one form of parenting strategy that you might think about implementing, if you don’t do it already. As overwhelming busyness, competition, and stress undoubtedly impact how you parent, might I suggest that you call upon the only One that actually has the ability to control all things – and get down on your knees and pray for your kids. And like Job, let’s do it continually.

Steve Brischke helps coordinate the Vista|Men’s ministry, and he leads the men’s Friday morning Bible study with Joel Casebolt.