Thursday, June 07, 2007

SHAKING PAST HABITS

©Tricia Goyer, author of Generation NeXt Parenting

Habits are hard to break. Very hard. Yet dealing with these habits is exactly what I need to do to be the best parent I can be.

I don’t know about you, but I learned quite quickly after my children were born that they are great at teaching all about my faults and weaknesses. I realized I was not quite the together person I thought.

Considering all my hang ups, I realized there were many ‘past issues’ I needed to deal with as a person before I could move toward my potential as a mother. The negative patterns I developed in my teen years were just as heavy to bear as my shameful regrets! These issues spilled over into every other aspect of my life … including my parenting.

Breaking past habits isn’t easy, and sometimes they even require a jackhammer. Ouch. Yet letting God work at digging out our bad habits is essential. Because we all know that what we say, do, struggle with … is what our kids will say, do, and struggle with. Whether we like it or not.

When our kids are toddlers, we think it’s so sweet when they pick up a block and place it to their ear like a cell phone. But the older they get, the more their mimicking matters … and you may find that your rock-solid bad habits have become your children’s too!

The best way I’ve found to deal with past habits is to take the advice God gives in Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV):

Search me O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Take time to ponder this verse and answer these questions. Share your answers with a friend!

1. What does God see in my heart?
2. What bad habit would God like to see rooted out?
3. What anxious thoughts can I turn over to God?
4. What steps can I take to turn from the offensive toward the everlasting?

God is faithful. He doesn’t bring things to mind to shame us . . . but instead to remind us to turn to Him for wisdom, guidance and help to transform into the type of person He knows we can be!

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