As a family, we definitely have our rituals, especially our nighttime rituals. The boys brush their teeth, use the restroom, and then get themselves into bed. Usually, Hector and I sit on the floor, and I read a bedtime story. Then the lavalamp is turned on, the overhead light is turned off, and we pray. Hector leads our family in prayer, and we follow along and say what he says. Our prayer is pretty much the same thing every night. But one night not too long ago, it was a little bit different.
You see, my stepson complains of having frequent headaches. Our solution for his headaches has been to try to keep him hydrated. I feel like he is always walking around the house with a bottle of water, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Well, the other night as we were finishing up our bedtime story and he was getting into bed, he complained again that his head was hurting. Again, I got him some water and put it by his bed and tried to comfort him by telling him sleep would probably help, too. After our nightly prayers, I witnessed my husband lay hands on his son and say, “God, please take care of Zion’s headache and heal his pain.” Then we gave our kisses and off to bed we all went.
The next day, I was still thinking about Hector’s prayer. I asked God what he wanted me to know, and then He showed me that Hector modeled giving God the power to heal his son’s body. I realized that this was something that we really had never done before. I think God was trying to remind me that while I have a tendency to try to be the healer, He’s the real healer. He wants us to come to him with everything, and if we want our children to learn to go to Him, we have to model and show them how to go to Him. We need to show them how to pray and what to pray for – EVERYTHING! We do pray together at meal time, and we pray before bed, but we don’t really model giving God the power to heal our bodies. Most of the time, I find myself praying in the car when I’m alone, so the kids don’t hear my personal prayers, and I know that the kids don’t hear Hector pray either. So even though we, on our own, give God the power to heal our bodies, minds, and spirits, the kids don’t see it.
What’s awesome about being a parent, or even just being an adult in a child’s life, is that we have the opportunity to mold these little people into God-loving adults. And it’s not just the talks we have with them or the life lessons we present to them. Sometimes, just by being who God made us to be, we’re modeling a belief system that they will pick up and carry with them for the rest of their lives. Zion watches every move I make and hears every word that comes out of my mouth. Doesn’t it make sense, that he would pray the way I pray and ask God for the same things I ask God for?
Proverbs 22: 6 says, “Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” I want the boys to go to God for everything, just like I do. I want them to know that God loves us so much, that he wants every second of every hour of every day in our life to be filled with joy. And more than anything, I want them to have a personal relationship with God. God is our healer, our best friend, and our Father! He longs to take care of us. We just need to let Him.