I remember the frustration experienced in my home because of homework. Each day as my kids would return from school, we would argue over when and where and how to do their nightly assignments. The ordeal was stressful and it caused family strife. I decided to take it to God in prayer. I hoped that God would change my children’s attitudes so that they would look forward to doing their homework. This, however, was not the case.
I learned that although I can pray to God and ask Him to help, I must also be willing to be part of the solution. I cannot just pray and then throw up my hands and carry on with my day. I can ignore the fear and worry, but I still need to be willing to take action. I believe it was Joyce Meyer who said, “Don’t react, act.” I don’t need to react with ranting, raving, whining and nagging. I must rely on God’s guidance and proceed with a solid plan to resolve this homework issue.
God often answers prayer through people. He can and will divinely interject but usually He uses people who are willing and obedient. I can pray for wisdom and knowledge but I must also act upon that knowledge and do something.
It’s not enough for me to say, Dear Lord, help my child to do homework without listening for His answer and being open to His guidance. Prayer and action go hand in hand (Nehemiah 4 NIV).
I’ve learned that in my household when the kids return from school they require some free time. They need to recharge with a healthy snack and playtime. Following that, we dedicate thirty minutes to homework. My children are still in the primary grades so I feel this is enough time for them to organize their work, complete it and put it away. The kids do their homework at the dining room table while I make myself accessible to them by preparing supper in the kitchen nearby. If they don’t complete their homework within this time allotment they’re accountable to their teacher the next day.
This is the system that I’ve devised through listening to the wisdom of others and spending time in quiet reflection with God. I realize that although my plan is working well now, as our family’s needs change, (e.g. extracurricular activities begin) I may need to change this plan. But I’ve learned that I can ask God for His guidance and His wisdom. Then, I must be open and listen for it. God wants to answer our prayers and He wishes to work though His creation.
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead (James 2:17).