In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lessons from my Kids

Are you a parent?

If you are, you know that you learn a lot from your children. If your children have not yet become teens, let me assure you that plenty of lessons are still to come.

Sunday I sat in church, reflecting on several frustrating encounters with my 17 yr old son during the morning. As I sat there, it felt like the Holy Spirit whispered to me that He's using my son to teach me.

Since then, thoughts about some of the lessons I've learned from my sons, have been mulling around in the back of my mind. Here's a list of just a few of the things my kids have taught me:

God's great love for me
As soon as I had children, my understanding of God's love for me expanded. There's nothing I wouldn't do for my children; and to think that God calls me His child...

How to not be such a people pleaser
Growing up the way I did, people pleasing comes as naturally to me as breathing. But, as the mother of 3 sons who are currently ages 21, 17 & 15, I've come to know via experience that no one can be as critical or all knowing as a teenage boy. Honestly, it's amazing the number of subjects that they've come to be masters regarding (at least in their own minds) or the amount of critical feedback and advice these teens can provide to their parents on every topic that comes along. I've had to really dig my heels in and tell myself the truth repeatedly; that the only one I need to please is God. That I've got to do what is right before Him to the best of my ability, and then just let it go. A much healthier way to live than running around trying to please everybody.

That I need to PRAY
The older my sons get, the less I can do for them; the more I need to entrust their lives into the hands of God. My oldest son will graduate this May from West Point. He has a high enough rank in his class that he can choose just about any job he wants - so what does he do? Not only does he branch infantry, but this brilliant math major also decides that he want so be an air borne ranger - great Devon, is there anything more dangerous you could possibly choose?! So I pray for him; I thank God that he is a young man who wants to serve and protect, and I pray God's wisdom and protection over him. My 17yr old is at a place in his life where he is a Christian and his faith does affect his daily life in that he lives out Christian values and morality, but he's not interested in spiritual matters. He only attends church because I require it, he doesn't open the Word or have times of prayer daily, His life is not centered around living for God. So I pray for Him; I pray that God would draw him to Himself, that God would create a thirst in this son for God, that the Holy Spirit would cause a love for God to grow within his heart.

Patience
Be it an infant needing to be fed every 4 hrs throughout the night, or a teen-ager who is certain that the entire universe revolves around him, my children have taught me how to not expect life to happen my way and on my schedule.

What about you, what have you learned from your kids?

17 comments:

Denise said...

God bless you, and your children.

RCUBEs said...

Yes, I agree. Our children always need prayer covering, no matter what age.

My son taught me that happiness is not found in those magical theme parks as he remembers just the simple things. Good quality time he spent with daddy and I. Happiness is in those simplest, loving memories. You don't have to go anywhere.

But my Daddy granted me something more than just "happiness" when I spend time with Him: "joy!"...

God bless.

Michelle said...

Oh... at the end of this when I had to think about what I've been taught by my kids...I teared up a little.

Mine are so young and like you said, there's a long way to go and a lot of learning to do.

But I've learned that my every action counts...that what I DO is so much more important than what I say. As soon as she started walking, I could see that my daughter mimicked my every move. Mostly this was good because it taught has taught her manners and respect. But now that we're in the terrible twos plus a baby... I find sometimes my behavior isn't so great to mimick. There are always eyes watching and sometimes I say and do the most horrible things. So, I find myself praying for "control." Sometimes I wanna cuss and scream...but then I realize who would be at fault when she doesn't express herself in control.

Tracy said...

Rcube-you have such a sweet heart, I'm constantly noticing that. It's so true that it's in those simple times that some of the best memories are created. As my youngest 2 are teens I notice that it's in the unplanned for, times together that just happen, that God opens doors to their hearts (so I pray to always be ready and notice those times when they arrive).

Michelle - I laughed when I read what you wrote because the reason I had typed "there's a long way to go and a lot of learning to do" is because few things in life can be as trying as a teenager. I have absolutely great sons, frequently people tell me this-I'll meet people and they find out who my kids are and tell me how awesome they are, but they're in that teen time and can be so EXASPERATING. So I was really trying to be positive rather than vent/complain. I also must note that I was quite impressed that your 2yr old is already picking up on manners and respect-way to go.

photogr said...

Ever wonder why God doesn't allow old folks to have children any more?

It takes younger people to endure the pangs of raising children because they haven't forgot how things were when they were kids.

Old folks don't have the patience or they forgot what it was like when they were young kids.

Considering the generation gap in years no wonder.

Having God in their early years will certainly provide dividends for them and their parents in both of their later years

GCT said...

"As soon as I had children, my understanding of God's love for me expanded. There's nothing I wouldn't do for my children; and to think that God calls me His child..."

So, are you saying there's nothing god wouldn't do for you? If we extrapolate that to all god's children would you be so bold as to repeat the claim? I don't think you should as it would be demonstrably untrue. Every day children starve and god does nothing. Every day children are abused physically and/or emotionally and god does nothing. god should certainly have the power to stop a predator from raping a young child (a catholic priest for example?) and yet we know that children are raped. How can you even think of comparing the love that you have for your children and the indifference that god seems to show towards all of us (or at least most of us)?

photogr said...

God cannot control everthing that happens here on earth. It is a fact since before bibical times. He does have some control over ones with a conscience, moral values, or faith. However one that commits these crimes against the children actually have no moral or ethical values and no true faith. It is sad that the children suffer but Jesus warned those that harmed the children will suffer during the time of judgement. It is also said the innocent children will be guaranteed a place in His house.



It is the same issue as a mad man going out and deliberately killing 4 police officers on a whim. He has no conscience or moral values and doesn't care about what is right or wrong. Only what satisfies him at the present. God can't control that.

Considering there are groups hell bent on taking God out of America and Washington is cow tying to them, makes you wonder why God even cares what happens in America.

The only saving grace is we have been promised a place in His house for eternity if we will only believe and repent of our sinful ways.

All the more reason why we need the scriptures as a guide to lead us in a wholesome righteous way of life.

We as citizens also have the duty to insist the courts dole out harsher laws and penalties to divert the way of the criminal mind and perverts. Right now the criminals have more rights than their victims.It should be the other way around.

GCT said...

god can't control or won't control? If god can't, then god is not omnipotent. I think you mean to say that god won't. So, god won't do whatever is in his power to help his children who are in need. He looks on as children starve, are beaten, raped, etc. and does nothing even though he has the ability and the power to do something about it. I find this to be monstrous. Could you look on as a child is raped? I don't think I could do that and I don't even have kids! Yet, this is what god does. god watches it happen, has the power to stop it, and yet does nothing.

So, if there's nothing that one would do for their children, including protecting them from real, tangible, and immediate harm, why does god not do this?

What makes it even worse is that the Bible does not guarantee that children will go to heaven, nor would that offset the fact that god sat there and watched a terrible event and did nothing.

~*Michelle*~ said...

WOW....I love everything about this post.....but what gripped me from the start was this:

"There's nothing I wouldn't do for my children; and to think that God calls me His child..."

woah. That just took my breath away.

Dionna said...

I loved your post and you are so right. My oldest daughter will be 13 in a couple of weeks and we are starting to hit territories and discussions that are tough. She's a good girl and has a good head on her shoulders - I just have to do the best I can and leave the rest in God's hands. But it's hard. :)

photogr said...

Innocent Children are guaranteed a place in heaven as stated in scriptures or by Jesus .You just have to look it up.

If I was to witness a child being raped, I would think God put me in that place to stop it with my life if needed. However, I being a militant in some respects, I would not hesitate to dole out justice to save a child from harm.

The big question is " what would you do in that circumstance?"

We are put in a place and time to naturally look over the children and our children. That is God's bidding. As far as God allowing this to happen, I don't have the answers. You are going to have to ask Him your self. Yes He will even answer you.


I sense you have a grave concern over children's safety since you mention this frequently. I suspect you are a doting father looking out for their safety. It is sad many parents aren't as evidenced by the head line news in recent months.

Here is a question. What are any of you doing to provide a safer environment for the children and your children? If any of you see a child wandering around with out an adult or parent what would you do?
Ignore them or lookout for their safety? I would think you were put in that situation by a divine power.

God is not a baby sitter. We have to be active in doing His bidding. He can only save their souls and provide them everlasting life in His kingdom.

We just can't sit around and wait for God to save all. That is what we are here for to act as a guardian angel for the children and our children.

So in a sense God is looking out for the children. We just have to do our job too.

JD Curtis said...

Of all that you mentioned, patience is probably the most difficult of all. We all want things right now. We are spoiled as a people. I blame drive-thru's at fast-food establishments mainly.

Marty Duane said...

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Tracy said...

You make some excellent points Photogr. I agree that we're supposed to reach out to the children around us, our own and others. For 3 yrs I was the assistant administrator for an adolescent treatment program that had a secured inpatient component, an open group home rented space from us so kids could graduate from the secured unit to the group home and an outpatient program in the community. I loved that program, loved being part of it. One of the things that broke my heart was to be part of an intake meeting and hear the horrific stories of what these kids had endured at the hands of their family or guardians...there is much in this world I do not understand.

JD, I laughed when I read what you'd written. I get what you mean about fast food places just reinforcing that selfish, sin nature. I struggle with patience, fortunately not as much as I used to, but it's still an issue sometimes.

GCT said...

Photogr,
I agree with you that we should do what we can in order to help children, especially if we see one being harmed, but what does that say about god? Why are you so willing to let god off the hook for not helping and allowing children to suffer and be brutalized when he has the knowledge and the means to stop it? Wouldn't you stop children from being raped and beaten or starving if you had the power to do so?

And, why would I assume that an omni-max god put me in place to stop a child from suffering if I do happen upon a child that I can help? What does that say about all the other children that don't receive help? Does that mean that god didn't care about those children or that he's simply negligent and/or stupid? It's quite obvious that humans alone are not enough to keep all children safe, yet that's the best plan that an omni-max god can come up with?

The simple fact of the matter is that children in this world do suffer. Some are beaten, some starve to death, some are raped, and so on. You and I would both do all we can to save these children, even children that are not our own. god has the ability to save all the children, and yet does not do so (this is demonstrable). And, to make matters worse, it's not just young members of the world that are considered god's children. god allows all of his children to be abused, etc, even when of adult age.

Finally, even if young children were assured a place in heaven (they aren't and I'm pretty sure where you get the idea, but the Bible does not say most claim it does when trying to defend the idea of the age of accountability) so what? god is still letting children suffer. It would be like saying, "Sorry that you just got raped, but let's go eat ice cream and that will make it all better that I did nothing and actually sat there and watched you get raped." That is what god is doing, he's sitting there and watching children be beaten, brutalized, raped, etc and doing nothing about it.

Twin-Daddy said...

Love your comments GCT, you talking about an area though where most christians brefer to bury their heads in the sand and pretend it's not real.

The fact is, if God is everywhere and all powerful, then its a moral failure on his part not to help the innocent being tortured and killed. I'm evil (I don't really think that, but lets assume the bible is right), I would help anyone that I could. If I'm evil and God is good (once again, lets assume), then how much more should God protect the innocent. It's plain to see, Christians are stuck making up excuses for an absent God...

Also, when I had children, I was instantly aware that christianity is a lie, there is NOTHING my children could do to me that would even come close to making me want to burn them in hell for all eternity.

It's truly absurd.

Twin-Daddy said...

One more thing:

When a christian tells you something is in the bible, if you just go look it up. Typically, they've only been told by someone else its in there, never read it themselves.

Often times, it's not in there...

There is no indicator that children have any special ticket to heaven..

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