5 Days of Prayer For My Children

Day 5 of 5 • This day’s reading


A Student of My Child

Stories from a parent's heart

In families, kindness means discerning the unique needs of a specific person. It involves taking the initiative to express care based on what you know of them. Kindness requires becoming a lifelong “student” of each person in the family—seeking to understand everyone so you can best love them.

The apostle Peter referred to this when he encouraged husbands to “live with your wives in an understanding way” (1 Peter 3:7 NASB). Proverbs encourages a wife to “open her mouth in wisdom and [let] the teaching of kindness [be] on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household” (31:26–27 NASB). And Scripture reminds us that everyone who has been called by God is to put on a heart of compassion and kindness.

I can show Nicholas kindness like no one else because I know him so well. For example, I buy the brand of T-shirts he feels most comfortable in, and I cut his sandwiches in triangles because that’s his favorite shape! I try to prioritize time for Nicholas to play with Caleb, because Nicholas says they are both good at sharing. I know Kara likes to hang out with her friend Chloe, but always at our house, because sometimes the two of them can get into disagreements. I make a special effort to straighten Chloe’s covers at night because she can’t sleep if they’re “all crooked.” These demonstrations of kindness are possible because I’ve learned to be a student of my children. I’m praying that my demonstrations of kindness are just a small way I can imitate the kindness the Lord has shown to me.

Pray: Listen to Jesus

Remember, my beloved: I am wonderfully kind, patient, and tolerant of you. It was my kindness, in spite of your sin, that first drew you into a relationship with me. Now I’m giving you the opportunity to share some of that kindness with your children. Pay it forward every day. Look for ways to demonstrate kindness with others. Take thought of others just as I think of you a thousand times a day. Finally, remember that sharing truth with one another is important, but that truth needs to be coupled with kindness.

  • Jesus, you are right—you have been patient, kind, and tolerant of me even though I _________. I am grateful for your kindness toward me because _________. I pray that you would empower me to demonstrate this same kindness with my children. I need your help to _________.

  • Lord, I pray that my children would have a fresh experience of your kindness as they live with me. May they sense your patience and understanding and the generous way you love through our daily interactions. I pray specifically that my children would, in turn, show your kindness to _________.

Live: Do the Bible

  • God, remind me often of my children’s preferences and uniqueness. Show me what I need to understand about them. Based on these special insights, show me ways I can demonstrate your kindness. Show me ways to be gentle, patient, and accepting. Show me any areas where I need to imitate more of you. Speak to me, Lord. I’m listening.

  • Lord, please empower my children to become an imitator of your kindness. Soak my children in more and more of your love so they can have a personal relationship with you and then demonstrate their love for you by _________.

Take Action

  • Look for opportunities to show your children an extra measure of kindness without expecting anything in return. Serve your children’s favorite meal or offer to help them clean their rooms. (If that’s an unusual gesture of kindness!)

  • Talk with your children about how to demonstrate kindness to a friend or neighbor. Bake cookies for the neighbor who’s been ill. Rake leaves for the elderly friend down the street. Talk about the kindness of Jesus and how He is pleased when we do the same.

  • Compliment your children on their appearance. Encourage compliments of others: “Let’s think of a compliment that we can give to _________ today!”

For more devotions like these, checkout 31 Days of Prayer for My Children by Terri Sneed and David Ferguson at greatcommandment.net/resource-store.