As is my nightly routine, this evening after Jacy (my daughter) had her bed time story and bed time milk to drink, I took her to her room. I lay next to her for awhile holding her hand, as she twirls her hair with the other.
I held her tight. Thinking of how I would give anything if moments like that would never go away. It was then that I felt like the wind got knocked out of me. As I began to think about all of the troubles that she will have in her life. She will know pain, she will know loss, she will know fear, she will know… So many things that I wish with all that I am, that I could keep her from.
So, I began to contemplate ways that I could keep her from ever knowing some of these things, and I came up with some interesting thoughts, such as going to live in a remote cave somewhere for the rest of our lives 🙂
But I remember, that this is not the first time I have felt this way. As I was growing up, I attended Church camps in the summer. Those camps had a tremendous impact on my life. One camp in particular (reach week) was especially helpful in shaping my relationship with God. I remember the “spiritual high” that would come from those camps. I also remember the bone crushing lows that I would feel as soon as I went back to school, around so many who did not seem to care about God and His Word.
I asked the director of the camp at that time (Tony Hall) in a joking manner, “Why can’t camp just never stop? Why do we have to end on Saturday morning?” Tony looked me right in the eyes and said “Because, as Christians, we have work to do. And we can’t reach the lost of this world, if we stay away from them.”
I will never forget that response. This is what I had to remind myself this evening, as I began to think about Jacy not always being able to be with me, and protected by me and my wife. You see, I can raise healthy young children who love the Lord. But if I am not doing my job as their father, which is training them for spiritual warfare, I am failing as a parent.
Here are just a few things that are on my heart this night that I want to instill within my children:
1. There is absolutely nothing, more important than their walk with God! (Matthew 6:33)
2. There is only one way to get to heaven! (John 14:1-3, Matthew 7:13-14, Acts 2:38,1Peter 3:21)
3. There will be times that they have to stand alone. (Matthew 26:56, Daniel 6)
4. The Lord’s Church MUST be part of their lives! (Hebrews 10:25)
5. They do not belong in this world! (Phil 3:20)
Just the other day, I was talking to Jacy, and she repeated everything I did and said. I said “Hi” and she said “Hi” I said “nose” and she touched her nose and she said “nose” I spun in a circle, she did the same. I winked at her, she winked back. I stuck my tongue out, she repeated to action (her mom loved that:)
She is at such a fun age! My question now becomes this. If She read her Bible just like daddy how much would she read? If she prayed just like daddy, how would her relationship with the Father be? If she spoke to as many people about Jesus as her daddy, how many souls would she reach? If she let her light shine just like daddy, how bright would her world be?
Mothers, and fathers, we have a tremendous blessing in our children. We also have a tremendous responsibility! How are we doing?
Psalm 127:4-Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.