Monday, April 06, 2009

Lessons I Want To Teach My Kids

If you were to ask me what I want to teach my kids, I might have a list like:

I want them to learn to tie their shoes, use the potty, read, be a good friend, be kind and loving, ride a bike, be independent.

I know I want them to give their lives to Jesus but a lot of times in the midst of life I just don't think of that. I just want them to do their own thing and stay out of my hair. I realized the other day that a "good day" for me is a day when the kids don't bug me and I can get my stuff done. That's not my goal as a mommy missionary!

Here are some things that my husband jotted down on a piece of scrap paper. I've had it saved in my "filing system" (papers that go in there are generally never seen again!) for a long time!

Lessons I Want to Teach my Kids
You are not the center of the universe. God is.

You are not as good as you think you are. We've all sinned against God.

You are made to be loved and to love.

You are forgiven and need to forgive. (Redemption and Reconciliation)

Work as to the Lord - Work Good; Work Hard.


Be Gracious, Merciful and Compassionate.

Live for Eternity.

Stick with the Body (meaning the Church).

You are blessed to bless others.

That puts my list to shame. And it's hard because as the mommy, I am bogged down in the details of life: laundry, grocery shopping, meal prep, cleaning up messes, diapers, appointments. It's good to step back and get a look at the big picture, which I always claim I could do if I spent most of my days in an office with no one under the age of 18 around me.

It's going to take some effort for me to stop focusing on the little stuff, step away from the computer and prayerfully look at my parenting. Many times I am shocked when I realize that although I'm a "Christian" parent I am parenting from a worldly perspective.

I just read a profound Caring Bridge update from a Dad whose son was paralyzed in a skiing accident a few weeks ago. Here's a bit of what he said:

Prov 22:6
Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.

These words have always been an important admonition to Michele and I. We have worked hard over the years to see that our children were well trained and equipped for life. Looking back over our parenting thus far, I would say (probably like most parents) that we did well in some things and not as well at others. Every morning as Josh and I sit together waiting for the day to start, I have been struck with how little time I spent preparing my kids for suffering. It is a common human experience this side of eternity, but as a dad, I think I spent more time helping my kids avoid it than I did preparing them to trust God through it. .

You can read their story here.

Going forward I am going to saturate myself in the Word of God and prayerfully commit my parenting to Him, humbly admitting that on my own I'm a failure. And come what may, I pray we will live always following the Christ that lives in us - the Hope of Glory.

Colossians 1:27-29

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.

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