I think we as parents have become so fearful of over-directing our kids that we have let go of our influence altogether. The Bible tells us that children are like arrows for us to influence, direct and guide into the image that God created them to be. We may never be perfect parents, but God has called us to be good stewards of the Ministry of Parenthood.
“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth” (Psalms 127.4 NIV).
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2.10 NIV).
An essential role of parenthood is being a seeker of what God says about our kids. An easy way to do this is to ask the Holy Spirit to give us at least one verse for each of them. The Bible contains God’s promises that are all potentially ours if we learn to find, claim and apply them by faith. There is nothing wrong with we as parents seeking out God’s promises and declaring them over our children. In fact, it should be encouraged as a tool that enables us to give our kids a sense of who they are in Christ! We can take time to pray and seek out those promises that Holy Spirit wants to highlight for each soul we have been entrusted to nurture and guide.
My first born son is now 12 years old. His name is Isaac Jeremiah. He is a child of promise, and he loves to make people laugh. The name Isaac embodies both of those attributes. But his life verse comes from his middle name, Jeremiah. I had been seeking a verse for him and one in particular kept coming to mind. When a friend sent me that verse in a text about my son, I knew this was his life verse.
“When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies. I never joined the people in their merry feasts. I sat alone because your hand was on me. I was filled with indignation at their sins” (Jeremiah 15.16-17 NLT).
If you know my first born, you would see how much he embodies this verse. He loves the Lord and His Word. And he very good at discerning right from wrong to the point that he many times does not fit in with the world around him. I call him my prophet.
My second born son is now 10 years old. His name is Levi Daniel. Levi means “joined,” “attached,” “connected” and “harmony.” My middle child is like the glue between his two others siblings. He likes to keep the peace and he empathizes with both his older brother and younger sister. The Levites in the Bible were priests, but they also did many other things for the temple, like cooking, cleaning, carpentry, music, etc. I see music as part of his design and future.
“And you will know that I have sent you this warning so that my covenant with Levi may continue,” says the Lord Almighty. “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin” (Malachi 2.4-6 NIV).
My second born creates peace wherever he goes. He puts the feelings and concerns of others before his own, and he reveres the Lord and leads by example. I call him my shepherd.
My third born child is my sweet 8 year old girl. I so wanted to have a daughter, and I’m overjoyed that she is the baby of the family. Her name is Karis Ruth. Karis comes from the Greek word Charisse, which means “God’s grace” with undertones of kindness and beauty. Ruth means “friendship” or “companion,” so her two names together mean “a friend of grace.” When I first received her verse, I wasn’t sure I liked it. But when God explained it to me, I realized how important it was for her to know this promise and claim it.
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Solomon 4.7 NIV).
We live in a society where the beauty of a woman is scrutinized in every way. The Song of Solomon is like a love letter from Jesus to His bride. We are the Bride of Christ, and because of Jesus’ Finished Work on the Cross, we are literally flawless in the eyes of God. Regardless of how the world tries to define and categorize her, I want my daughter to know that she is beautiful and perfect through the Blood of Jesus, and her Heavenly Father adores and love her. I call her my graceful companion.
So what about the souls in your life whom God has given you the ability to guide and influence? What Bible Verses can you claim and profess over them? All of God’s Promises are theirs by faith, but we can choose tailor-made ones that suit their personality, design and purpose. So don’t be shy about choosing Scripture for your children. Find lots of them and apply them liberally to the lives and hearts of your kids!
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 1.20 NIV).