BY LEANN DILBECK –
Students returned to school and many to college this week. School supplies and clothes have been bought, backpacks are stuffed, lunch boxes are packed or lunch money sent…we, as parents, do everything possible to equip our children as they take off for a full 8-hour day.
Evenings will begin to fill up with various after-school practices and lessons. Much emphasis will be placed on algebra, literacy, science and so forth. Formal education and extra curricular activities are essential to raising a well-rounded child so this message is not intended to diminish the importance of those in any way.
I just feel that it is very, very important that, we as parents, in our quest to raise these “perfect, well-rounded, successful” children that we don’t lose focus of the best way to prepare our children for adulthood. “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 is the single best piece of wisdom we as parents should remember each and every day that we have our children at home and able to influence them.
To teach, by example, the importance of a personal relationship with God is the single best “school supply” or “gift” that we can ever give our children. To show them that God desires us to talk to Him about all of our cares, desires, and concerns…nothing is too small or insignificant in the eyes of our Almighty. It’s ok to pray and ask God to help you remember your lines in the school play…to equip you to show kindness to the school yard bully…or to bow your head silently and ask God to bless your lunch.
Raising kids is hard but being a kid is hard these days, too. There are so many things of this world pulling for their attention and we as parents have to do all that we can to make sure that what influences them is healthy and safe. We must pray without ceasing for the Spirit to protect them and guide them when they are not with us…and, as they mature and begin to make decisions for themselves.
No child is equipped, regardless of their test scores, awards, or degrees, for adulthood until they have a personal relationship with the Lord.
Let us not forget that whether we are parents or not, we all have the ability to be a positive influence in the life of a child. The only Jesus they may see today may be you so we must be sure to seize the opportunity to reflect the love of the One who gives life.
Let us pray as a community for the safety of our children and let us also lift those who invest in their lives that they may be well-equipped for the monumental task they have been called to do.
Today and everyday, do all that you do for the glory of our Lord!