I was looking at the familylife.com website for inspiration again this week. If you haven’t checked them out, I would highly recommend their thoughts on family, parenting, and general home life. They are thinking deeply about something that most of us parents are just trying to keep afloat – our families.
This week I saw a little gem that I want to share with you. Dennis and Barbara Rainey (one of the couples that started the ministry) wrote an article called “40 Lessons We Sought to Teach Our Children.” I thought that it might encourage you to see these and talk about them. By the way, a list of 40 things may seem long, but they point out that our lists (if we wrote them out) would probably be just as long. We just haven’t written them out like this.
So, consider the first five:
- Above all, fear God.
- Respect authority—trust and obey your parents.
- The importance of friendships.
- Be in love with Christ and focus on your relationship with Him, not just on doctrine or on biblical principles.
- Have compassion for the poor and orphans.
Something I was thinking as I read these first lessons is how much these things are ‘caught’ as much as taught. In other words, instead of looking to how I speak about these things to my children, I want to look at how I live out these things in front of them. For example: Do my decisions show my children that I have God’s existence and approval/disapproval always in front of my thoughts? Do I say out loud that some things are not done simply because God is a part of my life? Do I express that there are simply some things that I do because I care about what God cares about? I mean, isn’t that what it means to fear God?
Aren’t all of these things not just lessons for childhood but for all of life? If so, who should be living them out first in our families? Shouldn’t it be us, the parents? I think that is the great challenge for me as a parent – to live out the person that I want my children to become. May I embrace that calling!
Here’s to families,