Our children – it takes time to raise them well. Not the kind that comes in years. That kind of time comes all on its own and can be neither hurried nor slowed. Though we try to contain it, the calendar keeps turning. The days go slowly and the years go quickly.
No, the time that makes an eternal difference comes in moments. Not the moments regretted or the ones hoped for, but only the ones right now. Wherever this moment finds us – this is the one that matters. Only in the right now can we make a mark on eternity.
The snuggles on the couch. The giggles over breakfast. The conversations in the car. Answering “why” for the thousandth time. The Saturdays spent at ball fields and dance recitals. When we do not have all of the answers but we still hold them when they hurt. Whispered prayers at night and blessings over meals. Those instances when we, as parents, feel so ill-equipped and weak but we keep on keeping on. The moments when we point them to Him – those are the ones that matter. And in those moments, with our words and actions, we are teaching and molding and training.
The greatest key to parenting is to be intentional. If we are not careful, we will spend each day in survival mode. If, at the end of the day, everyone has made it through with minimal drama, we call it a success and prepare for the next one. One of our greatest responsibilities, however, is to teach our children what really matters. Survival is not enough. And, if we do not take the time to train them properly, there is a world waiting to teach them what the world deems important. Appearances, possessions, and popularity – these are the things the world would love for our children to focus on.
We know that our children were created for greatness, but not worldly greatness. The Creator of our little ones intends them to experience godly greatness.
Tim Kimmel addresses this very issue in his book, Raising Kids For True Greatness. Tim talks about the crucial decisions our children must make in their lives and how we can help them make good decisions. Of all the decisions discussed, the one that is most life-changing for our children is for them to choose who they are going to live for. Who they will choose to serve is far more important than what they will choose to do.
While there is no avoiding pain or struggles, our children will be equipped to handle hard times if they decide on the front end to follow Him. And, for them to make that decision, they need to see us making that decision on a daily basis. In those moments when we show them Who we serve – those are the times when we are raising them well.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. – 3 John 1:4