Linda Ranson Jacobs is the Single Parenting Specialist for the National Center for Biblical Parenting and our guest blogger today. We've invited her to share an insight with you and we encourage you to respond to her thoughts whether you're a single parent or not.
Be Still and Know by Linda Ranson Jacobs...
How many times do you say to your children, “Be still,” “sit still,” “be quiet,” or “shh”? If you have very active children, then you probably find yourself saying these phrases quite often. If you’re a single parent this seems to be especially true when the children are going through re-entry, just returning from visiting the other parent.
For children, whose minds and bodies are active and alert, it takes patience and being away from distractions to learn how to be still, and that means practice. But how many of us really take the time to teach our children to be still? How many of us practice with them? As single parents many of us are failing miserably at the task of teaching children to be still. It might be because as the only parent in the house we get tired of all of the responsibilities.
Recently I was visiting with a single mom and she said, “There are times I require my children to simply be still. This means not moving around and not talking. At first it was hard for them to understand but I think it’s important for them to really grasp what it means to be still. How else will they know what being still and quiet feels like when they need to go before the Lord as an adult?”
We teach our children to be still at the doctor’s office, at church, and other various places. Sometimes we want them to be quiet when we are watching a movie or a TV show or when we, as the adults, are online and need to be able to concentrate. Sometimes it’s just because we need or want a moment of quiet ourselves. But have you really thought about teaching them to be still before the Lord?
It’s important to find places where we can calm down and simply be still. I found that being outside in the early morning or in the evening is a good place to start in teaching children to be still. It is for no reason other than to relax and listen to the sounds of nature such as birds chirping or the wind blowing.
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer” Psalm 19:14 (NIV)
It’s just as important for us as parents to go before the Lord ourselves. We need to be renewed and find rest and hope in the Lord on a daily basis. We live in a busy and loud world. We have many distractions but none more important than teaching our children how to be still. If we don’t teach our children now, how else will they know how to, “Be still and know that I am God..” Psalm 6:10 (NIV)
What do you think of this idea?