Show Me, Reveal to Me, Teach Me

When my daughter was an infant, I followed a strict feeding, sleeping and playing schedule. I wrote down every time I fed her, how many minutes and more. As she started sleeping through the night (very early I might add–thankyouverymuch, schedule!), I was still nursing her once in the middle of the night, to tide her over. I called it a dream-feeding. And I loved that sweet, quiet, alone time with her.


photo by D. Sharon Pruitt

When my son was born, I tried doing a dream-feeding with him, too. He wasn’t sleeping through the night as easily as my daughter did (maybe because that schedule was hard to follow with a 3 year old following me around?) and I thought the dream-feeding would be a perfect remedy.

Unfortunately, that dream-feeding woke him up. He didn’t lay there quietly and eat. He’d wake up, cry, eat and then have to be settled back down for sleep which meant he didn’t sleep well and would get up early because he was overtired. *sigh* The unending cycle of tired babies!

That was one of my first signs that my children were different.

You’d think this would be pretty obvious. I mean, they don’t look too much alike. One’s a boy and one’s a girl. But, they are comprised from basically the same DNA. I should be able to raise them, feed them, care for them and love them the same way, right?

Nope.

It’s like love-languages. My daughter is a touchy-feely lover. She wants to hold my hand, sit in my lap, rub my face and hug me tight. My son, even when he could barely speak would say to his sister, “Don’t hug me! Don’t hug me!” He wants you to play with him. To roll on the floor with him. To sit right next to him while he’s reading a book. Just being with him is his thing.

But how does all this transfer to raising them? To disciplining? How can we train them in a way that will actually help them and lead them to Jesus? That is catered to them specifically?

Sorry. I don’t really know.

I struggle with it every day. The thing that works with my daughter doesn’t work with my son. She is potty-trained practically overnight with a chart. After two months my son still doesn’t have ONE sticker on his chart. My daughter will go to her room without a peep while my son pounds on the door. It’s more than frustrating. It’s overwhelming. I want so much to help my children, to grow them how God made them. But how do I do that?!

I remember something one of my {online} friends told me. She said, “ I often pray that the Lord show me my son’s heart.” She told me she realized that God knew her son’s heart completely and that He could see what was going on in there, so she asked God if he would be willing to “clue her in” on it and what she should do about it.

This prayer hit me like a ton of bricks! I had never ever thought of this before. Ask God to show me how my daughter works? Ask God to show me why my son responds this way? Of course God would do this! He promises to confide in those that fear Him.

Of course, this prayer doesn’t mean that I suddenly am super-parent. It doesn’t mean I know how to do everything right and understand everything about my kids. But it does point me back to the One who does know. The One who did knit my children together inside of my womb.

So now, when I stand with hands on hips glaring at my disobedient children, I can either yell, “What is WRONG with you two?” Or I can quietly, inside my heart, say, “God show me my children. Reveal to me how I can lead them to you. Teach me how to teach them about you.” And I believe with all my heart it is a prayer God honors. And answers.


Amanda is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at OhAmanda.com and Impress Your Kids. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor — overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!