Friday, June 10, 2011

21 Days of Prayer for Sons--Integrity

Today, I read pp. 17-18. I prayed the Scriptures on integrity for my sons. "Integrity can be defined as firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values or the quality or state of being complete or undivided. Someone who stands up for what is right no matter who is around." (from the Warrior Prayers Leader Guide) I would like to add that integrity also includes standing up to defend what is right and fight what is wrong...come what may. "A person with integrity has 'grit'....Never mistake respectability for integrity. Respectability can come because of fear, power, position, or wealth. Integrity requires none of these. It stands on its own character." (~Brent D. Earles) I made up an acronym for I.N.T.E.G.R.I.T.Y.
Imitating Christ
No compromise
Grounded in God's principles
Immovable in righteousness
Yielding to Christ

Study Questions

1. At the beginning of this chapter, Brooke shares a story of her experience with mothers of girls. Can you relate to the differences between boys and girls that she describes?
Yes. I have 2 boys and 1 girl so I know how different they are.

2. Have you ever found yourself physically and emotionally exhausted from parenting your son(s)? How have you handled it in the past?
Absolutely. There was a stretch of time (months) that I cried pretty much everyday because I didn't know how to handle my son who had special needs and special challenges. I cried out to the Lord and He sustained me and guided me through that turmoil. He has graciously healed my son so much that he is now such a different boy than what he used to be in 2009-2010. 

3. In this chapter, Brooke says, “...what's in the heart eventually comes out. I know that if their knees are ever to bend to Jesus as Savior, their hearts must bend first. And that's God's business.” Have you given much thought to what God expects of you as a parent, versus the things that are really His job? Make a list below of things that you know are your job, and compare it with a list of things that God says are His job.
My Job:
  • Take care of my sons' needs
  • Teach my sons God's Word
  • Work on building their character, training their attitudes, and tying heart strings
  • Lead by example; walk the talk; be real and humble
  • Pray for them
  • Spend plenty of quality time with them
  • Keep our communication line open always; be an attentive listener 
God's Job
  • Transform my sons' hearts
  • Convict them when they've sinned
  • Lead them by the Holy Spirit
  • Be their Heavenly Father
  • Be there for them with them at all times
4. Consider your own parenting style. Is the way you interact with your son(s) targeting the heart and motivating them toward real heart-change? Or do you mainly focus on changing behavior?
I hope so :). I try to focus on the heart, attitude/motives, and character.

5. Jesus called the Pharisees “white-washed tombs” (Matthew 23:27) because they only cared about how they appeared on the outside, and not about cleaning up their hearts. How does this apply to the way we need to raise our sons?
I'd rather have my sons occasionally fail in behavior but know and love Jesus and desire to please and honor Him than have them behave perfectly all the time but lack love for God and authentic faith. I want to raise them up to love God above all else and faithfully abide in Christ and thus their lives shall bear fruit for God's glory.

Lord, please help my sons to be men of integrity and honor You in all they do. Please help them surrender all to Christ and imitate Christ. May my sons love You with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength! In Jesus's name, I pray. Amen!

(This picture was taken in July 2004.)

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