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Purposed Parent Connected Child Podcast - Episode 066 - Specific Steps to Strengthen Connection to My Child and Christ

Purposed Parent Connected Child Podcast - Episode 066 - Specific Steps to Strengthen Connection to My Child and Christ

Welcome to the Purposed Parent/Connected Child podcast – Episode 066 

Specific Steps to Strengthen Connection to My Child and Christ

I love hearing the sweet sounds of my daughter’s voices. Right now I can hear them in the living room as they play checkers together. I know the delight I get from listening to them converse is just a fraction of what God feels when He sees His children getting along and acting in ways that honor Him. While we know all children must learn to connect with respect, love, and grace, sometimes sibling connections are taken for granted. Since my girls weren’t sisters until the ages of 9 and 11, they had to learn to love one another. Their love was born through decisions and purposeful connection. Much like what we should do as parents. Although most of us automatically love our children before they are even in our arms, we still need to make choices that build meaningful and godly connection through the lifetime of our relationship.

In the last Purposed Parent Connected Child Episode we discussed the importance of strong connection to your child. This is obviously a crucial step in parenting, but I believe the most important reason a parent should want strong connection with their child is simple. You want to be your child’s godly main influence in this loud and crazy world. No one is going to care about your child like you – as a loving, Christ-following parent. If you are a Bible-believing mother who desires your child to follow Jesus, you must be determined and prepared to stand against this world and the ungodly messages feeding into your child. Let’s face it, those messages are faster, louder, and sometimes a lot more attractive than how you quietly influence at home.

That’s why building connection with your children must begin as early as you have them. In fact, I believe with all my heart that the best connection begins then because you are starting from the ground up. You’ve hopefully prepared the soil, which in this instance is what you carry in yourmind and heart. Your thoughts and beliefs are what your child’s relationship with Christ will be built upon. You have to possess what you desire your child to have.

Next, choose the materials you will build with. These will be your character, the mindset work you are completing through Christ’s truths, the plans you have made to raise this child for God, your relationship with your spouse, and your personal walk with Christ). Does that mean you’re out of luck if you don’t know Christ as Savior until your child is older? Absolutely not! But it does mean that you have a lot of work and prayer to accomplish. But then, that’s the definition of parenting!

Since our last episode spoke about the importance of being connected to your child, we’ll use this episode to talk about different ways to build connection to your child. There is no way to capture every way of constructing strong connection in one podcast episode, but I’ll share some of my favorite ways with you.

Have you ever stopped to ponder how much more influential you are in leading your child to Jesus when you share a solid connection with each other? I always enjoy sharing connection and relationship tips, because connection with children is a beautiful gift from the Father for the Father.

Let’s start with ways to connect with a younger child. I’ll share some of my personal favorites. From the time my middle daughter was a baby, I enjoyed Bible lessons with her. Those lessons consisted mostly of singing short songs which were made up lyrics of Bible truths or songs set to familiar tunes like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or Happy Birthday. We also played a lot of Bible music CD’s for children or classical instrumental music. 

I also regularly read “The Story of Jesus” to my baby, and it was the key to silencing her crying on the first night we brought her home from China at ten months of age. I also read the Bible aloud, so she was used to hearing Scripture. I prayed for her, but also when I was with her, I prayed over her, so she could hear the prayers. When she was one, I began sharing Bible verses with her. I would say the verse in a soft voice used for talking to babies and clap my hands or sway with movement to the verse. Motion and movement always kept her attention and the sound of my voice was soothing to her, making the verses more interesting. Of course, she can’t remember those days, but I know the seeds of faith were already being implanted in the soil of her heart.

Because she was adopted when she was almost one year old, I was very concerned about ensuring that we bond and attach well. Everything I did was purposed, to connect her to me and to Jesus. I knew the first ten months of her life were deprived of emotional, mental, and spiritual stimuli. It was my job as a loving parent to stimulate her brain and help it connect neural pathways. Looking at connection through an eternal perspective, I knew that the work I was doing for my daughter and I ultimately translated to work for the Lord. Intentionally positioning her with confidence that I was safe and always there for her as I responded to needs also built a foundation for her that God was also safe.

I spent many years doing art projects with her, playing with Play-Doh, dancing, singing, playing outside, using play kitchens, playing with dolls and stuffed animals, doing role plays, going on walks outdoors, and exploring nature together. Anything I could think of to increase time together and give us opportunities to talk and laugh was welcome. Most of our daily conversations would be directed back to God in some way, Praise, worship, stories of His love, stores of His provisions, Bible stories, any way God could be brought into the conversation and honored or thanked was grafted into our time together. Of course, homeschooling was a plus at our house. I’ll never regret the years we spent in our schoolroom together. They were absolutely some of the hardest, easiest, and most rewarding bonding times with my children.

One of the best methods of building a strong connection with your child of any age is simply being present. I don’t mean sitting at home with them, but being engaged – with your attention, voice, reactions, and body language. Finding activities to do with your teen that are reflective of their interests or are common interests between the two of you, even activities that may build new interests are important to share together. Often teens will open up at night or when you are driving them in the car. Honestly, preteens or teens usually open up at the least convenient time for you, but remember how important those moments are for connection. To help a reluctant preteen or teen confide feelings, emotions, or thoughts, you may also take walks together, share a day trip, trade writing journals, play games, or do physical activities together, such as bowling, skating, basketball, or many other ideas.

Another thing to mention is that all you do with younger children establishes the groundwork that will later bear the valuesand morals learned through the small and large interactionsthroughout their life. As your child approaches the teen years, their critical thinking skills sharpen and you will see thinking, morals, and values mesh. Good morals such as respecting elders, not cheating, lying, or stealing, as well as values such as integrity and kindness sink deeper into the soil of your child’s developing critical thinking skills. On the flip side, so do bad morals and values.

Now let’s examine some strong ways to connect with an older child. I don’t know whether you think this way, but I’ve always felt that in some ways a child entering the teen years is almost like a toddler. Toddlers and teens can both whine, throw tantrums, not want to go to bed, be messy and selfish, and want independence, yet still need you. Both the toddler and teen find ways to express their needs, and they aren’t always what you would consider acceptable methods. Knowing your individual child is important. You are best able to decipher whether your child or teen needs food, whether they are tired, stressed, overworked, scared, or lonely. You will notice when behavior is ordinary or out of character and when it is worth investigating deeper. Just as when your child was a baby, your teen will show in various ways whether they feel their needs are being met. When your teen feels that needs are being met by you, trust and attachment occurs, and the cycle is repeated and strengthened.

When children enter the teen years, it is harder for some parents than others. As a parent of four children, I can say that each of mine reacted differently to the process of maturing. However, the children I worked hardest to have a Christlike connection with are the ones who never exhibited “typical” teen behavior or attitudes. As we parent our growing child, it is very important to help them know who they are in Christ, even before they know Him as Savior. Self-esteem is a term we hear often, but I like to refer to it as “godly esteem.” Godly esteem focuses on Who created us, Who we belong to, and the God-given purpose we carry on this earth. Building godly esteem is critical for raising children who become productive, well-adjusted, loving adults who honor and obey God.

If your teen exhibits many behaviors many in this world write off as “typical,” that is a definite red flag in my opinion, meaning there is connection work to do. You can listen to the Purposed Parent Connected Child Podcast episode #063 – Stop Raising Typical Teens for my opinion in that area. My goal was always to step in sync with my child when they were young so that the later years would be an extension of the relationship we worked for earlier. Just like your walk with God develops intentionally over time, your child deserves attention and understanding. We need to parent in ways that help us see their unique, God-given talents and interests, then parent to help them see and strengthen what God has uniquely entrusted to them.

Another aspect to consider is that every mother carries individual experiences that shape her and the way she loves, listens, laughs, and raises children. It is extremely important for a woman to evaluate her past, present, and future through a godly lens, comparing her experiences and beliefs against what Scripture, the ultimate source of truth teaches. A mother securely attached to Christ will better parent her child with connection through the difficulties of maturing, whether it be emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially.

One of the most effective pieces of my Set-Apart Collective is the Motherhood Mindset Model that enables women to be cognizant of how they have been shaped by their past and how their thoughts, attitudes, feelings, and beliefs line up against God’s truths. As they work through the Mindset Model, they are able to become the mother and wife He created them to be as they allow God to transform their mind and thought patterns.

Being an adoptive parent solidified another connection truth for me. Just because a child behaves a particular way doesn’t mean you understand the “why” behind the behavior. For example, when a child exhibits difficult behavior or has a sudden change in behavior, we need to stop and consider two things. 

One, what is my child conveying (or saying) with this behavior? 

Two, what is my child asking for through the behavior?

Remembering these two points helps build solid connection. Instead of berating, ignoring, or punishing the child, a connected parent deciphers behavior and uses the opportunity to draw nearer to their child, to reach the heart of her child. Just because a mother works to construct connection, it doesn’t mean she babies or spoils her child. Finding the reason behind behavior doesn’t mean letting your child “walk all over you,” instead it simply means you are attuned and responsive.

When I raised my last two, I also told them from the time they were young that we would need to be purposed in growing and maintaining a close relationship with God and each other. Every relationship takes work. When you let each other know you are willing to invest in each other with time, words, actions, love, grace, and respect, you are letting your child know they are important to you. It also shows them it is essential to be even more purposed at having a close relationship with God. You have also imparted to them the knowledge and desire to work at connected relationships.

The most important factor in the close connection I have with my children has been God’s Word. Having the goal of reading the Bible together and praying together daily has cemented our faith and family connection. What beautiful work God does in families who commit to connection with Him and each other. I have many resources on prayer. If you’d like more information, please contact me.

In the last podcast episode, “How to Strengthen Connection to My Child and Christ,” 

I stated that I believe children have replaced attachment with mom and dad for attachment to peers. That’s a concerning thought, because when parents lose the status of mentor or influencer in the life of their children, the home, then in turn, the world, is altered. That’s the result we are seeing in America today. Cultural (meaning society) influences have a stronger attraction than traditional family values and is more important to many teens. As kids follow kids, traditions, morals, values, and relationships suffer. Most importantly, parents lose the blessing of teaching their child the way Deuteronomy 6:5-9, instructs, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible and one I have taken to heart as a mother. In it, God gives specific instructionson how to make Him known to our children. It also offers beautiful, godly insight into how to build a firm foundation under our children and how to continue constructing a heart of faith and obedience to Christ for a lifetime.

As you study the words in Deuteronomy 6:5-9, examine your mind and heart. Do you love the Lord your God with all your heart? Are there areas in your mind or heart that are closed off from God? Do you carry hurt or shame that needs to be worked out with God so that you can live fully present in the freeness and mercy of His agape love?

Did you notice that God commands us to love Him with all of our heart, soul, and might? This commandment means unreserved love with the whole heart. Agape love is committed to a humble connection with God. When we love like this, we freely obey God’s laws.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 also instructs us to keep the words God commanded in our heart. That means to hold them as a precious, sacred gift. All you and I think and dois directed by the condition of our heart. As we hold God’s words dear to our heart, we will meditate on them, absorb them in our thoughts, beliefs, feelings, actions, and reactions. Our obedience then flows from love and holy reverence rather than a formal need to follow God’s laws. As we read on in the passage, we notice God’s command to teach His words diligently to our children. As you go about your day, your love for God, your reverence, respect, and humble submission should be evident in your speech, attitude, and desires. His teachings should be on your lips as they flow from your mind and heart from the moment you rise and think of Him until you lay down to sleep with Him on your mind. Thoughts of God, prayers to Him, and obedience to Him should be as effortless as breathing.

At the end of this passage in Deuteronomy, you see God instruct “to bind His words and teachings as a sign on the hand and as frontlets between the eyes.” He was instructing the Israelites to continue meditatingon and also be directed by His commandments. In Biblical times, God’s instructions in this passage were taken quite literally as the Israelites wore boxes containing verses to their hands and foreheads. 

How does this speak to you and me regarding connecting with our children? It serves as a reminder to keep God’s Words foremost in our mind and to carry them out daily. It reminds us to allow the life-changing power of God’s truths to penetrate our own heart and mind so that we are living examples of Him to our children. It reminds us to carry out the love of God and allow Him to transform us moment by moment for our children to see and emulate. It binds us to God as we remember His mercy and grace and enables us to trust Him to extend that same mercy and grace to us as we parent the beautiful gifts He has allowed us to raise for Him.

Dear Heavenly Father, Your sovereign, holy presence in our life is so needed. Thank you for drawing nearer to us as we draw nearer to You. I pray that You will help each person listening to this podcast to experience Your presence with their children in new ways as they purposely pursue passionate connection together under You. Help us as women to long for You as the deer longs for streams of water. May our spirit thirst for You and find what we need in Your arms. May we mentor that desire to our children and shine You in ways that bring them to You for eternity. Press Your commandments into our heart and mind so that we do not sin against You or cause our children to walk in ways that dishonor You. Help us model Christ with beauty and grace from You because we love and follow You so closely. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Do you have questions, comments, or suggestions for me to add in an upcoming podcast? Please feel free to let me know at

Supporting and encouraging mothers to rest in Christ and pursue a holy relationship with Him so they purposely raise set-apart children is the cry of my heart. I believe godly parenting is rooted in relationship with Christ and the mindset a mother carries. That’s why I’ve created the Set-Apart Collective. Would you like to deepen your walk with Christ, learn a Christ-centered Motherhood Mindset Model, and create a Purposed Parenting Plan? I want to share special news with my podcast listeners. The Set-Apart Collective wait list is open now. Send me an email at to let me know you’d like to receive information and a special code to receive a discount if you find you’d like to join the collective. It’s time for mothers to be purposed in preparing their children for a lifetime pursuit of Christ.

If you connected in some way with this episode, would you please rate and review the podcast on Apple or Spotify? The best reviews are by word of mouth, so if you would also choose a friend to recommend the show to, imagine the change we could see in the way mothers parent for Christ. Please tell others that this podcast is found at, Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and on the Edifi app, where you can hear thousands of the best Christian podcasts in one place.

Remember, if you’re not purposed in knowing Jesus and showing Him to the next generation, the world will likely sway your children away from Christ. I pray that what you hear on this podcast enables you to stop being a good mom and focus on being a godly parent. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to parent with eternal purpose and connection.

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