But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus – 2 Timothy 3:14-15
I read an interesting quote today which led me to thinking and eventually to writing this post. It said “Are we given children to teach or to be taught?” In other words, there is so much we can learn from our children. Probably as much as they can learn from us. Their little minds are always open. Open to new possibilities, an open heart that can see beyond what we see. As adults we tend to look at everything with a bit of skepticism, doubt or worry. Children see things just as they are and with hope and excitement.
In a way, I saw a lot of what this quote meant when I listened to my own child this week. As I worked around the house last night, my heart smiled as I heard her in her room pretending to be the leader of a bible study. She was reading from her bible and explaining the verses out loud. And she was doing a very good job! I thought to myself how I hadn’t taken time from my own busy schedule for reading God’s word yesterday or the day before. So I sat down and made a little time last night after my freckle-faced inspiration had gone to bed.
She also made me stop and think earlier this week when she turned a Wii game into a thought about Jesus. She was playing a game that required a lot of balance on the Wii board and afterward she remarked how hard it was and it made her arms and legs hurt. Then she said “But that’s nothing compared to what Jesus went through! He had to hold himself up on the cross. That must have been hard. But he did it for me!!” She was so excited as she said it. Yes, he did do all that for her… and me… and all of us and yes it was hard. But where would we be today if he hadn’t? And how different would the world be if we were all on fire for Jesus like that??
Take time to listen to the children in your lives. Remember what it was like to think with a happy heart, a heart that is excited for what Jesus did and for what God can do in our lives. And take time to learn with them.
On the flip side of that, don’t forget about the children who aren’t fortunate enough to know God or have Him in their lives. How can you help them? Invite a child to your church or a youth group : )
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it ~ Proverbs 22:6
I had a feeling yesterday that I would know what to write about today. Greg and I planned to watch Courageous last night and I had been warned by a friend that it was a powerful movie. Knowing we share similar likes and emotional weaknesses for a good tear jerker, I prepared myself. Let me just say that she was spot on. Wow! Everyone who is a parent should watch this movie. Even if you aren’t a parent, you should watch it. The movie was made by the same film company who brought us Fireproof (which I wrote about last week). Courageous centers around the importance of having good, no….great fathers as role models. Godly men who aren’t afraid to step up and draw closer to their children through God.
But there’s more to take away from the movie than that. We, as parents, not just fathers but mothers too have a responsibility to our children. If they are not raised in a home where God is welcome and easily spoken about, chances are these children are going to grow up lacking values and respect for themselves as well as others. I’m not saying I am a perfect parent. I have had my faults, just as anyone else, but I try more these days to set better standards for my daughter, standards that are drawn from God’s word.
Our daughters need to be shown their value. They need to be shown that they are worthy of being respected by men and not to settle for less. That’s not an easy thing to do these days. There is so much working against God’s set of values for our children. Music, television, movies, all these things are the cause for little girls growing up way too fast. They learn too much too soon. We have to be role models. Children learn what they are taught and they also learn from what they see. Consider your actions as well as the words you speak. Teach them that God loves them and wants them to live positively. Spend quality time with them. Don’t compensate that lack of time by buying their love with the latest cell phone or new clothes. They need so much more than that.
The same goes for sons. Young men need to be taught early on how to respect young ladies. This also comes from what they see and how fathers are teaching them. Boys grow up fast too because of what they see and listen to as well. Violent video games and movies do not serve a good purpose for these young men. They need quality time as well with fathers who will teach them what God expects of them. Someone who will show them how to grow into Godly men and good fathers as well, when the time comes.
Please watch this movie if you get a chance and consider the lessons that are to be learned. Don’t’ be just a “good enough parent”. Even if you aren’t a parent, maybe you know a child who needs a mentor. Someone who you can reach out to as a mother or father figure. I hope I haven’t sounded to “soap-boxy” today. It’s just what God laid on my heart and I felt it needed to be said.
Join me today in a promise to myself to be a better parent and be courageous enough to teach your children more about God. It may be awkward at first but the outcome will be so rewarding.