Love Our Kids – Are You Being Fair?

While I started a degree in elementary education, I didn’t complete it. I can see now that the desire I had to teach starting at a young age has been fulfilled as I train and develop adults in the workplace and through teaching adults at church. Kids are definitely not my strong suit. 

And yet, as our church needed Wednesday night children’s workers, I felt like I had to help. So I started helping. . . grudgingly. The Lord has really had to work on my attitude.

I am a big “rule follower” and I’m not very patient when kids (or adults, for that matter) seem to ignore the rules or not care enough to find out what they are. Praise the Lord, He is more patient with me! I am sure that I have been known to make rules that weren’t fair or necessary. And I am even more sure that I have disciplined kids when they didn’t really need it because it was more about my pride than their behavior.

I know, O Lord, that your regulations are fair; you disciplined me because I needed it. Psalm 119:75

This scripture hit me hard this morning. Help me, Lord, to impose only regulations that are fair. Help me not to react and create rules or punishments that are really based in my frustration, rather than the child’s behavior.

A Day of Thanksgiving

Today is our family’s Thanksgiving celebration.  Some day maybe we’ll get to have all 5 children’s families together, but this year just 4.  My Matthew and his wife are coming for the traditional Thanksgiving holiday from Phoenix.

But it seemed important last year to Ellis’ boys to have something for our family.  In the past I haven’t always tried to cram it in because they had other events to attend.  And with work schedules including work over the holiday weekend, this was the best weekend to do it.

The Lord is working in our family in many ways and I am so thankful!

My soul, praise the LORD, and do not forget all His benefits. He forgives all your sin; He heals all your diseases. He redeems your life from the Pit; He crowns you with faithful love and compassion. He satisfies you with goodness; your youth is renewed like the eagle. The LORD executes acts of righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He revealed His ways to Moses, His deeds to the people of Israel. The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and full of faithful love. He will not always accuse us or be angry forever. He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our offenses. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.  (Psa 103:2-13 HCSB)

We have members of our family who need the Lord.  Even some of our grandchildren are old enough to understand that they need the Lord.  So today I am praying that we will have opportunity and boldness.

Lord, let me witness through my gratefulness and thanksgiving for your faithfulness to us individually and as a family.

Knowing What Your Child’s Purpose Is

It’s always interesting to think about how I get from one thought to another.  At least it’s interesting to me.

Typically, in my prayer time I start with adoration and praise.  To me, adoration is telling God how great He IS.  It has nothing to do with what he has done, but just who he IS.  I have a list of His attributes and names that I use to help me.  Praise, on the other hand, is about what he has done or the blessings he has given; salvation, a loving home, working in the lives of our children who need to be walking with Him.

So, today, I was kind of jumping back and forth between supplication, confession, and adoration.  One of the words that jumped out at me in my list was “dayspring.”  So, as I often do when a word or phrase catches my attention, I jumped in my e-Sword and did a search.  I keep several versions on my PC.  e-Sword is a great resource which I highly recommend if you are interested in doing in-depth Bible study.

In the KJV, there are two scriptures that refer to dayspring.  One is in Job and the other is Luke 1:78 where Zechariah is prophesying after John the Baptist was born.  He was praising the Lord for the promised Messiah whose birth was now imminent and for John’s role in preparing the way.

And I wondered what it would have been like to know, when my boys were born, what God’s specific plan was for their lives.  Zecharias and Elizabeth knew, based on God’s revelation to Zecharias, what John’s role was to be.  They knew from the beginning that God wanted him to prepare the way of the Lord.  Their son had been selected to announce the impending coming of the Messiah that had been promised for centuries.

So, how does that impact how you raise a child?   Would you be more serious about teaching the Bible in your home?   Would you pray more about his/her development spiritually?  Would you be able to give better counsel as they entered teenage or early adult years?

My children are raised.  It’s easy to look back and second-guess all the things I could have done differently.  No value there.  But my grandchildren are young and there are a lot of opportunities ahead to impact them for the Lord. 

Whether you are raising your children or contemplating your impact on your grandchildren, the fact is you probably don’t know what God’s plan for them is specifically.  But you know God’s plan for them generally:

1.  To know Him personally

2.  To honor and glorify Him in all they do

So, do you pray for God’s will to be accomplished in each of their lives?  Do you pray about what YOUR role is in helping them know and do God’s will?  Do you spend the TIME needed to ensure God’s will is done?  Do you talk about your Exous?

Lord, help me begin immediately to change the behaviors that keep me from doing these things to maximize my on my grandchildren.