Being a grandmother and needing photos of children for this post I chose to use my two darling great granddaughters.
Two of the more recent quotes I’ve read about children are:
“The Bible calls debt a curse and children a blessing. But our culture applies for curses and rejects blessings.” ~ Doug Phillips
“I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.” President Obama
As you can see these two men have very different views about children.
I have to admit that there have been days when I thought my children were less than a blessing – and that’s saying it nicely. I’m sure you too can recall days when it seemed like you were into this parenting thing way over your head – way over what you were able to handle – and it was difficult to get back to remembering what a blessing they are.
Then, as you begin to realize that these little lives have been entrusted to you to train into men and women who glorify God, it can be even more overwhelming.
Having said that, how do we keep the Lord’s view of children in the forefront when life can be so very chaotic?
I remember what a turning point it was when we actually began to be taught how to raise our children. Does that sound strange? Think about it – what else do you get that comes totally without instructions? No owner’s manual, no assembly kit, nothing. That is, until someone opens your eyes and heart to what the Lord’s Word says about raising children.
The training years can seem to last forever, but as you take opportunities and invest your time and energy to train your children you will begin to reap the benefits of having children that you actually enjoy being with. The results of those times of training become more obvious as your children become older and by the time they are young adults you will really be reaping the rewards from your investments.
Now that we are officially the parents of all adult children, with three of them still living at home, we are shifting gears. There isn’t as much training going on now as there is listening, encouraging, and just loving.
Your young adults will still need quality time – and quality time includes quantities of time too.
One of the ways that we have tried to put in place for years is scheduling opportunities for Dan and I to have individual times with each child. You all know how crazy that can be, but this is one area that you don’t want to skip. Keeping the lines of communication open between you and your young adult is probably one of the most important ways that you can continue to have input into their lives.
One thing we did rather successfully for a number of years was that on Monday I would take someone to lunch somewhere nearby. It was very popular with all of our children and if I forgot someone was always quick to remind me. As they got older when we were in town I would drop two of them off at one fast food place and take the other out to be with me. That gave the other two times to be together as well.
That worked well for me, but Dan still spent more time working with Eric and always seemed to run out of time or energy or both to take individual time with the girls.
Several years ago the Lord pointed out to us that we could use the same system as above, but apply it on Sundays when we were in town for church. Each year during our planning time we would say, “This is really a good idea, we should do this.” But we never did get to where it became a habit.
As you know, this year we’ve made a commitment to do this and we have a prompt in place so we don’t forget. A year ago Dan and Eric began working with the sound board and worship team. This meant on some Sundays they had to be at church an hour before we did, so we ended up with two vehicles in to town. We decided to split up after church on each of these Sundays, with Dan taking the girls to lunch and Eric taking me. So far it’s been working really well, and we don’t forget because we have that prompt in place – and the Lord has been faithful to remind at least one of us. We all use Google calendar and I set it to send me a reminder email a day or so in advance, which I then forward to everyone else. There have been times that it hasn’t been practical, but for the most part Dan has at least one lunch a month with his girls. And they love it – in fact, we all love it.
What is working for your family? Why not leave a comment and share some ways you are using to connect with your children on an individual level so we can all benefit?
Psalm 127: 3-5 “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
Finding Joy in the Journey,
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