Jump Start # 3155
Psalms 127:3 “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward.”
The signs of fall are all around us. The days are getting cooler. The night is getting longer. And, in the mornings, yellow school buses pass our homes. The stores are lined with “back to school” supplies. College kids have gone off to the universities and another school year has begun.
Three things are happening right before the eyes of parents. You may not want to admit these, but it’s true.
First, you child is changing. That cute little chubby baby has stretched out. He may now be taller than his parents. Every year, back to school means new clothes and new shoes because your child has outgrown last year’s. But it’s more than just the outside that is changing. They are changing on the inside.
· They are thinking for themselves, forming their own opinions and shaping their own ideas. When a child is small he naturally likes the things the parents do. Same sports. Same teams. Same music. But as they grow, they start finding their own tastes and their own likes.
· The scope of influence in your child’s life is increasing rapidly. When your child is small, he lives a pretty sheltered life. You decide what shows he’ll watch and who his friends will be. But as he grows, that influence grows. Teachers. Fellow students. Social media. Professors. Friends. Parents realize that the little sheltered bubble is no longer around their child anymore. They will hear about things that we never talked about at home. They’ll hear words that were never said at home.
The faith and conviction of your child will determine whether or not your child will be swayed by these influences.
Second, as a parent you begin to lose your status and importance in your child’s life. That’s hard on parents. We’ve been everything to our children. We’ve been their security, their friend and their hero. But, now they are growing up. There will be times when they’d rather be with friends than you. And, as time passes, your child will meet someone and fall in love and your level of importance will drop even more. Then the day comes when you child moves out on their own. Your role now shifts to advisor and often your advise isn’t asked. Sometimes they don’t want to hear your advice. There was a time when you picked out their outfits, knew where they were every minute and even told them when to go to bed. But as they have matured and moved out on their own, you no longer have that impact. Days may pass and you don’t hear from them.
Some parents do ok with this. Others have a hard time. Some interfere too much in the lives of their adult children. This often causes troubles with son–in-laws and daughter-in-laws. Leaving father and mother and clinging to your wife is not about location but the beginning of a new family. They may do things that you don’t. They may do things that you do not like. As long as it is not sinful, parents need to step back and allow their children to spread their wings. Their choices and their decisions may be much different than the way you raised them. That’s hard on us parents.
Third, the Lord remains the same. When Joshua took over after the death of Moses, the nation didn’t throw up their arms and declare that everything is now different. God was still there. The God of Moses was the God of Joshua. God will be there.
Remember, that God has plans for your child and can use your child for good. God will be there when you cannot. God will be there when you are no longer on this side of life. These principles will help your child. These principles ought to guide your child.
My suggestion would be to make the most of your time while you still are the greatest influence in their lives. Turn the TV off and spend time playing, talking, sharing and teaching. Tell them about your family history. Tell them your story of how you came to Christ. The day is coming when they will be too busy to listen. Get those lessons in them early.
Teach your child to think for himself. That is lacking in these days. They will hear things and to be as the Bereans, to search the Scriptures daily to see if those things are true is most remarkable gift you can give them. There are so many opinions, ideas and philosophies floating around these days. Don’t follow fads. Don’t just follow the crowd. Think and think things out.
Always be there for your child. Let your child know that you will always love him. I had a dream the other night. The kids were fussing and I had to settle a dispute. I woke up and realized that there are no kids in my house any longer. I wished I could turn the clock back and have them back, but that can’t happen.
Back to school is a powerful reminder of what a great opportunity, wonderful gift and challenging task that God has put in our hands. Our children. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full.