May 31 2014
At the beginning of the year, my husband and I worked on listing down values that we want to intentionally live out, practice, and pass on to our kids and by faith pass on to the generations after as well. It took us months in the making before we finally arrived at a complete list with descriptions that the kids can easily understand and bible verses that speak of these values. We want everything that we stand for to be biblically based and not just things that we’ve come up with on our own (I will be blogging about this separately and post the poster I asked my husband to make of the list of the values; a gift I asked for my birthday almost a month ago).
Anyway, the first and most important value that we want our family to have is our love for God. We want our family to put God first in our lives; to love Him with all our hearts, mind, soul and strength.
Second is love for God’s word and obedience to it at all costs. Third is strong faith– believing that God’s word and promises are true and trustworthy all the time.
It was so timely when my father in law encouraged my husband and me to listen to a series called Outlasters from Lifechurch.tv. It’s main premise is we should live lives that would matter beyond our life. I was listening to the Part 3 of the series this morning while my kids were playing. The pastor mentioned Psalm 112: 2-3 “Their children will be successful everywhere, an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. They themselves will be wealthy, and their good deeds will last forever.”
He said before anything else, we should define what success is for ourselves. The culture of the world usually defines the success of our parenting if our kids were to be “raised well-rounded, well-educated, and happy kids”. He proposes that as followers of Christ, that we are to have a different standardlpg–we should raise the bar higher. He said, as Christian parents our call is to raise up and unleash Christ-centered and biblically-anchored world changers.
He gave three points on how we can practically do this, as he acknowledges that this is not an easy task. He says, and I agree, that though we cannot control what and who our children will become, we can control what our kids are exposed to. What our kids are exposed to most likely will affect who they will become.
Anyway, I highly recommend all parents to listen and watch the series Outlasters which is very much available online (Lifechurch.tv and YouTube). In my opinion, it is one of the best I have ever heard on parenting and passing our faith to the next generation.
Having said that, this is what I realized after a few hours on chewing what I have heard. I look at my kids and the “normal” days I have with them. I can look at it as another dreadful day full of work and at times a whirlwind of so many things I need to do in a day. I must admit that I pause at the start of my day to pray and plead to God for grace and strength so I survive the next twenty four hours. And I need to be filled with His wisdom and love too so I can overflow these to my children.
When they’re finally asleep I assess if the day was a so called “success”. Have I crossed out a lot on my unending to do list? Have the kids behaved well or did they give me a difficult time? Have I taught them something good? (I homeschool my kids) –Have they watched too much TV? Have I provided them with activities that are fun? Were they bored or did we have a great time together? I can come up with so many more questions… For those who know me well, I very much dislike wasting time and being unproductive. I naturally am wired to accomplish tasks and I always want to do them well.
I am not in anyway discounting the importance of academic excellence, or having a crisp, neat and orderly home, or having a great time and a non-chaotic day at home. These are all good things to have and aim for.
However, if I am to go back to what I value the most or what our family values the most, then I should change the way I assess the success of my day or my parenting altogether. The question I should ask myself is: “Do my kids love God more today? And similar questions around that: did they seek God today? Did I impart faith to them? Have I included God in our conversations today? Do they know more about God ? Have I shared the word of God and shown the love of God to them today?”
If I lived today in such a way that my kids get to know God, want to know God more, and love God more, then my day is a success. That should be my most important gauge. Not other things.
I need to remember this and be reminded of this. I am too stressed with things that in the light of eternity won’t even matter. My kids were entrusted to me by God. In the end, what would matter the most is that I usher them into having a first hand experience from the joy that comes from knowing and having a relationship with their God.