Have you ever been on a mountain road that had a lot of twists and turns? One day my mom and my two kids decided to check out the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were on our way back from Ashville, NC. My mom and I both love a good adventure so it seemed like a great idea at the time. I had always wanted to see Mount Mitchell, the highest point of the Appalachain Mountains. It looked amazingly close on the map, however, we didn’t calculate in all the curves so just a few miles from reaching the Summit we realized we weren’t going to make it.
When we began our journey, I thought I had plenty of gas. Unfortunately, the route to the top was longer than anticipated and I didn’t realize at the time, that you couldn’t just pull off and get gas at the next exit. With no phone service, we decided we needed to find a way back down from the mountain. We began to pray that God would grant us grace in the midst of our ignorance, and help us to get safely off the mountain and to a gas station in time. Just a short time after praying we discovered an exit off the mountain to our right.
We started down the side of the mountain very thankful our brakes were working, because what we thought would be a main road, was in fact, a one-lane road with more twists and turns than a roller coaster. As we weaved back and forth my daughter was beginning to feel car sick. I was watching the gas on my van continue to go down and thought to myself, “Why didn’t I prepare better for this adventure?”.
My mom and I began to sing with the kids to get their minds off of the twists and turns. Caleb and Kaitlyn were in early elementary at the time. We sang several rounds of “She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain When She Comes” each contributing what “she” would be bringing with her. We laughed quite a bit at the responses along the way which helped us keep our anxiety at bay as we continued around hairpin turns.
We were so thankful when we finally turned off onto a straight road. We felt safe on the straight road, because we could see what was coming up ahead. Kaitlyn’s car sickness started to settle and we were relieved to see a gas station up in our line of vision. We coasted into the gas station on fumes praising God for allowing us to arrive at the gas station just in time.
As I read Matthew 3:1-3 today, I was reminded of this experience. So often, just like I was unprepared for the adventure we took on the Blue Ridge Parkway, as parents we are often unprepared to help our kids grow spiritually. We have a plan for our kids to develop their athletic skills and push our kids to excel academically. We understand the GPA they will need to get into college, yet we fail to prioritize laying a foundation of faith for our kids.
John the Baptist was chosen to go ahead of Jesus and prepare the hearts of the Israelites to follow Jesus when He began His ministry. This is what the Bible says was John’s mission, “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight the paths for Him.” (Matthew 3:3) As I meditated on this scripture, I realized this is my job as well not only for those I come into contact, but for my kids.
Just think about it, when God put the stars in place, He knew at this very time in history you would be alive and would be a parent. He placed your kids in your home and now you have an opportunity to be on mission with God and “make a straight path for God to cross over into their lives“.
What are some ways we can do this as parents?
Live Authentically For Christ Ourselves
These incredible little humans are watching our every step. They hear the words we use. They see the shows we watch and the music we listen to each day. Would you say your life reflects Jesus? Are you showing your kids on a daily how to live as a Jesus follower? Are you spending time in His Word every day?
Memorize God’s Word
It is so important we know God’s Word ourselves. It’s rare that we will have our Bibles with us when our kids encounter the twists and turns of their school day or navigate the wild world of preteen friendships. When we know God’s Word ourselves, then we can point every conversation back to Jesus as we counsel our kids in the many car rides to and from school. There have been so many moments in the past seventeen years, when during a car ride discussion on a problem or situation my kids were encountering at school, God brought a scripture to mind perfectly fitting for our discussion. As we talked I would ask my kids, “How would Jesus respond to this person?” I always reminded my kids, we represent Jesus to the world around us. We need to show others His love for them through how we respond to people and situations.
Pray For Your Kids Daily
Prayer is such a powerful way God uses to show us His greatness. Elijah prayed for God to show up and show the Baal worshippers He was God and He showed up in a big way! (1 Kings 18:20-40) God has given us so many promises in scripture we can pray over the lives of our kids. As you read the Bible, mark those promises and then transfer them to a journal or sticky note so you can use them to pray them daily over your children.
There have been times, when I have placed sticky notes with verses on my kids’ bathroom mirrors, to help them remember they are loved or to have wisdom for something they were navigating. I have also placed them in their lunch box for school as a reminder of who they are representing each day.
Fill Your Drive-Time and Home With Christian Music
In our family, as my kids were growing up, we primarily listened to Christian music. The reason I kept the dial tuned into Christian radio stations or later as teens choose to stream Christian music, is because it keeps our minds fixed on the things of God. Music impacts our lives more than we realize. There is something special about hearing my kids sweet elementary voices singing along to the Christian tunes on the radio. Through those songs they were hearing God’s promises, being reminded we worship a great BIG God, and reminded that God is always with them even when their day gets tough.
As a mom of a teenage boy driver, it is so special to me to get into His car and the first thing that comes on as he starts the car is the Christian radio station. When I hear that come on it makes my heart full, because I know he is making the choice to listen to Christian music in his vehicle even when mom isn’t with him. (Don’t get me wrong, my kids do listen to other music at times as well, but they make a conscience decision to tune it back into Christian music throughout their day.) They have heard me share with them so often why I choose to listen to Christian music and it’s also given me many opportunities to talk about the words of the songs with them.
God is asking us to join on mission with Him to “make straight the paths” so our kids can experience, know and love Him. What can you do this week to join Him in what He is doing in the hearts of your kids, preteens and teens?
Welcome to Faith & Family Box! My name is Katrina Dorroh. I am an Oklahoma girl living in North Carolina with my husband, Robert and two teens: Caleb and Kaitlyn. We also have a spunky Westie named Trooper. I have been doing ministry for over 25 years. I have a Masters of Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I absolutely love nature and creating memories with my family. On of my favorite places to hang out is in our wooded area on a hammock with a good book. My favorite verse is Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” My favorite quote: “The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to Him. By God’s help, I aim to be that person.” Dwight L. Moody