Monday, May 11, 2015

The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Child

I attended a dynamic worship service this past Sunday at Austin Christian Fellowship where pastor Will Davis Jr. and his wife Susie talked about raising children. They shared some powerful words of instruction and encouragement to parents about raising children in today's culture and landed on what I believe is our greatest gift to children from 3 John 1:4 where John says "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth". 

So the great question to ask yourself is what would bring me the greatest joy in my children when they become adults?  Susie makes this significant statement, "If your goal for your children is to get into a good college, marry a wonderful spouse or a live happy life, this tells a lot about you as a parent."  As followers of Christ, shouldn't our greatest joy be to see our children walking in truth, loving God and serving Him and others. If that is true, shouldn't leaving a legacy of faith be our greatest gift to our children?

Will and Susie gave some great advice on how to leave a legacy of faith in a culture that so wants to take you and your children in a totally different direction?  They explained that the the key is to impress the word of God into your child by making the word of God the backdrop for everything you do.
An important first step is to establish a mission statement for your family. Then talk about it, memorize it, post it around the house, stencil it on your wall or stick it on the fridge so that you children will see it, know it and learn to live from it. This mission statement, should be about what is most important to you and your family. It should be a summary of what would bring you the most joy in your children, your end goal as a parent. So when your child acts up or wanders off, you can remind them that their actions do not match their purpose.    

Do you have a family mission statement? If so, I'd love for you to share it.  
If not, Here is an exercise that will help your family create a mission statement.

Powerful quotes from the message:
  • Make the whole template of God's word your end goal.
  • Our long term goal for our children, the end goal of parenting is to have a faith that carries them through life, not a fear that cripples them.
  • You shouldn't be the one who pushes your children into the dark because you can't handle their darkness. 
  • Leave a legacy of belief and faith, not a legacy of fear. 
  • What leaks out to your children? When you leak, you want to leak the word of God. If it's not in you, it will not leak out. 
  • If you focus only on helping your child to be culturally relevant, to give them the best that culture has to offer, you'll grow a child to be culturally relevant but biblically irrelevant.
  • We parent from a worldly mindset. Because we pursue, worry about, and fight about worldly things. 
  • Help your children love the right things by you loving the right things.  1 John 2:15-17
  • Our children need to see us loving the things of God. When was the last time your children caught you, praying, loving God, serving others? 

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