If You Say So - To Your Kids

Jeff Woods
Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 KJV
Or, as Pastor Matt perfectly put it, "Our responsibility is to raise our kids in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. God's promise is when they get old they will not depart from it."
When I was growing up, anytime I actually went to my Mom for advice, she would often give it to me, but end with…" Have you gone to the Lord and asked him?" Fast forward to 10 years ago. Kayla and I are about to have our first son, Cooper, and reading every book recommended to see what the experts or "They" say. Two weeks after Cooper is born, Kayla has to go back in the hospital with what ended up being a ruptured appendix (save that story for a later date). The weeks she stayed in the hospital, it was a newborn and me at home each night.  I vividly remember pulling in the driveway the first time, putting it in park, and praying," God, I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing. But you are the good Father, and I trust you to guide me to be the Father Cooper needs me to be." The foundation my parents built for me and pointing to my relationship with Christ was what I could stand on. Not what "They" said in the books.
However, Pastor started trying to step on my toes a little bit with the scriptures: Ephesians 6:4, and Colossians: 3:21. Anyone that knows me, knows that I may very well be the first person to have a negative score on the mercy spiritual gift test. And having two boys that make typical "boy choices" doesn't help this fact. So, I honestly must work very hard when talking to them. Not just with what I say, but unknowingly how I say things. Kayla always has to remind me to "sound loving". But sitting listening to the message, all I really kept coming back to was two questions for myself:
Are most of my conversations a reaction of what my children have done, or being proactive by speaking truths into their lives?
Even though they don't know what it means, do my kids see me as the spiritual head of our household?
Or to sum the two together, is my reaction to my children based upon my emotion to what they are doing, or is it based upon the overflowing love of what Christ is doing in and through me?
Kayla and I were going through a study a few years back and chose a verse that we pray over our children every night. Its Ephesians 3:16-19, "that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulness of God."
We are very blessed in that we have our parents, church, and community of friends that partner with us in teaching and supporting our children in learning and understanding what Christ did for them and the life that we now have through him.
And since I'm talking about partnering, please let me conclude with this. We need partners in Kid City and Upstreet. What better way to show your children Godly leadership than by them seeing you teach God's word at church. Something I look forward to the most every week is the time when our group of 3rd graders opens up their bible to look up their memory verse or the story. There is just nothing better than looking up and seeing a dozen 9 year old's reading God's word.

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