As summer ends and a new school year begins the thoughts of busyness make me spin and I wonder how this new phase will unfold. My children are young yet and don’t yet go to school, but weekly lessons at kindergarten for my older 2 will keep us hopping.And my oldest is starting music school this year, so with all these plans life looks like it might get hectic.
This summer I have pondered a lot. I have thought about parenting and life and this crazy world we live in. My heart has ached at the wickedness so brazenly displayed and I have longed to guard my little ones for this evil. I long to raise my kids in a good world, where life is charming and innocent. But in our days- this innocence comes only by working hard and staying in some part distant from this world as it has now become.
Yet in all of my desire to keep them guarded I also know that at some point they will encounter wickedness and that their lives in all likelihood will face hard and evil days at some point. So what can I do now to raise them to face this world? I’d like to turn my back and run and spoil my kids and meet their every need and whim. But is that what’s best, I think not. . .
So what I want my kids to know is this:
Know God: Parents sometimes are afraid to help their kids encounter God, maybe they aren’t close to Him. Maybe they don’t even know Him themselves. But kids know their is good and evil and we as parents can let them know God by giving them opportunities to go to church, reading the Bible with them, going to Sunday school and if we know God ourselves by talking about Him, and helping our kids to learn to pray and know God.
Why should our kids know about God or know him personally? It all boils down to whether you believe there is good and evil in this world. If there is good- there must be a source of that good- that is God. And therefore, there is also evil- and the source Satan. Kids encounter every day in the situations they encounter and in every cartoon a display of good and evil forces and as parents we can help them understand the ultimate one by helping them know GOD!
When our kids know God is gives them something to cling to that is bigger than themselves. Having faith in God can be the rock our kids cling to when life is scary and bigger than our comprehension. They can pray and talk to God when they are afraid- our son does that during storms. We don’t tell him to pray, he knows that God is the Creator of the earth and bigger than everything and he turns to God when he is afraid.
Know themselves: When we know God we can more fully accept ourselves. Each of us was born with gifts or talents that we can develop and use in the future. Each of us can better understand ourselves when we know who we are in God and how He sees us! We each have a personality and spirit that helps define who we are and if my kids know who they are, and who God is and then it will give them a base on how to live their lives.
I want them to know they are unique, special and made in God’s image.
Know right from wrong: I am continually being bombarded of late with the idea that nothing is new, everything has been seen and nothing shocks anyone anymore. That idea make me feel cold chills run through me.
When God is not present in our cultures then evil abounds and when evil abounds it displays itself in blatant evil that should shock and should cause people to turn from it. But if we raise our children to accept that everything goes, and we are afraid to teach them what is right and wrong then the boundaries grow confused and evil grows stronger.
I want my kids to know evil when they see it. I want to them to shudder and turn from what is evil because they know that is displeasing to God and it defiles who they are. Man was made in the image of God and anything that defiles or causes to belittle our true value as people or taints our integrity should be fled from.
I grow sad as I hear others say that if you are different you will bullied and laughed at. And yet I do not want my kids to be like those who take pleasure in the pain of others. If that means others laugh at them then may they be true men and women of character as they do what is right and find peace in their hearts because they chose to walk a blameless path.
Know boundaries and discipline: If we each lived within boundaries our problems would be much less. I want my kids to know rules and that they would live by them. I want them to respect authority. I want them to be kind and show respect to the elderly. I want my kids to be real men who behave as gentlemen and women who behave like ladies. I want my kids to have a good dose of old fashioned politeness. I want my kids to know that too much of something harms them- too much media, sweets, etc. I want them to know how to say, “No.” And to know how to stop. I want them to learn these things and so we must practice them now. Living withing boundaries is what helps us to respect them in the future. Living discipline is what gets us out of bed in the morning and off to work and what keeps us from overeating and knowing how to care for our belongings. Living with discipline is something that each of must learn.
Know kindness: I want my kids to show kindness to those in need. I want them to jump to help when it is needed and offer a kind word when they see one is needed. I want them to think of others and not just themselves and to be kind to one another (sisters, brothers, parents, family, friends). I want them to know life isn’t about THEM but that life is about being the person God made each of us to be.
There are so many things I want my kids to know, but for today these are what most pierce my heart.