“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
I don't have much time for a blog today, but I have something on my mind that may be beneficial for parents. I now have a 15 year old daughter who is following Jesus with all of here heart. Sure, things could change, but this is a patter with her. There have been peaks and valleys, but she has been following Jesus for the majority of her life. So, what are we doing right? First, we have done plenty of things wrong, we are not perfect by any means. Perhaps the most important thing we have done as parents is have a mission statement. It isn't written down, but it is frequently repeated and it has been ever since my daughter was a baby; even the we were thinking according to our mission statement.
Before I tell you what our mission statement is, it is important to make a couple of observations. First, our mission statement isn't detailed, it is very broad. We constantly make adjustments regarding how it is applied, but the overall mission remains the same. Second, although I have pushed for certain things along the way, when it comes to my kids lives, I have always taken two things into consideration. Do the things I push for accomplish the purpose and do they fit with my kids personality and interests? If the answer is yes, then I push more. If I find out the answer to either of those questions is no, then I stop pushing and move another direction.
Second, it is important to remember that when things don't go well, hit your knees. There are no guarantees as parents, but we can increase the odds that our kids will turn out how we want them to by being good/intentional parents.
Third, make sure your priorities as a follower of Christ are right and then put your mission statement as a parent together.
Last, repeat the statement often and apply it to everything!
So, what is our mission statement for our kids? Simple, we want our kids to be fully committed followers of Jesus. That is it. We aren't too concerned about what they will do for a living, where they will live, or if they will be safe. That doesn't mean those things don't concern us at all, but we believe that if they are following Jesus, then he will take care of them. They will serve Him no matter where they live, what they do for a living, and safety is secondary.
Perhaps there is one more thing I should mention. Although our church is great and our daughter is very involved in the youth group, we don't rely on our church or the youth group to raise our daughter. We are very involved in here spiritual life at home. She takes prayer walks and reads Scripture because it has been modeled for her, not because the church told her to. In other words, take responsibility as a parent to get the job done.
John Byrne is a pastor who has been spouting off his opinions his entire life (just ask his mom). This little blog is his venue for continuing in this tradition.