While I like every age group in the church, my favorite is the children. In fact, my goal in life is to make sure the children in our church love me more than their parents. As of right now, I am well on the way to making it happen.
Yesterday, after spending the day in our Mother’s Day Out program, I got my usual visit from the Tornado Twins, Owen and Wyatt. They always come over to Dennis Hall so we can eat candy.
As the three of us ate more sugar than is humanly possible, their mother, Ellen, told me that last Wednesday at the evening church meal, Owen refused to go to the restroom because he was afraid he would miss the most important thing that happens during dinner.
No matter how strongly nature called, Owen was not about to miss the moment I call all the children to the stage so they can lead all the adults in saying grace over the food. It’s a big deal.
The prayer we use has been in my family at least five generations. It says everything that needs to be said: “Gracious Father, accept our thanks, pardon our sins, receive us in heaven for Christ’s sake. Amen.”
The really great thing is that after saying this prayer, week after week, year after year, the children have the prayer memorized. The adults are still a work in progress.
As I look at the way the parents of our church raise their children, I truly believe they are following the wise words of Solomon: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
This passage is especially important to me because it mirrors my experience. While in college, I fell away from the church and God was no more than an afterthought. But eventually, the strong spiritual foundation my parents instilled in me won out and I found myself back in church and in a nurturing relationship with God. My parents helped me understand what matters most.
Out of all the things parents can leave to their children, the most important is a relationship with the One who will always be there. It matters.
So if God has blessed you with children, do everything you can to help them develop a deep relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what will get them through life long after you’ve gone to heaven. Then, one day, they too will be able to go to their true home. You will have helped make it possible.
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, please use my meager gifts and talents to help others draw closer to you. Give me joy in my heart, words of love in my mouth, and acts of compassion through my hands. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Now that you know Jesus Christ, God expects you to help others do the same.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.