Our church is on a 3 week fast. We always do this in January. Our children typically participate along with us and choose something to fast from (what they’ll give up) and something to fast for (what they’d like to see God do).
I enjoy hearing their hearts on what they’ll be praying for and what things they feel God is leading them to give up for the 3 weeks. Sometimes it’s hilarious, the younger ones especially. There’s always the one who gives up something they totally hate or never eat. . .”I’m giving up . . .pomegranites for the fast.” Like we were even going to eat those this month anyway. This person is usually 4 or 5. Funny.
This year, one of mine, has recently been struggling with bad attitudes. Especially when playing electronics or having to walk away from them. Or losing games. Or things just generally not going their way. Often. They lost their electronic priveledges for a couple days. This is mid-fast mind you. So, I tell my husband that I believe that this child should probably just fast from electronics the rest of the fast (at the time 2 weeks to go). But, I don’t thing I should make them, so I just pray that God will lead them to voluntarily choose this.
A couple days later, this child comes to me and says that they think they should go without a couple more days. They’re still stuggling with their attitude, but wanting to do better. And they have realized the less they play devices, the easier it gets to avoid tantrum behaviour! Wow. I just thank God.
A couple more days go by and the child comes to me again. They say that they feel they’re supposed to just give up the devices for the remaining time of the fast because they still have some things to work out and being without devices is making it much easier.
I then tell them that I’d been praying for this. That God would speak to them and convict them of this. I say how proud I am. Of their efforts to get their heart and attitudes right. But, even more, because they are hearing God’s voice. Listening and responding to that Holy Spirit conviction inside them. Praise God. Pretty cool!
Don’t forget to pray. Pray for your children. Pray for them often. And pray for them to hear God’s voice and be convicted of things that God wants for them. Especially when you’re hitting a wall with someone and you don’t know what to do with a particular child or behavior. Pray that God would convict them and motivate them to seek change!