If you live anywhere around our home state of Texas then you have noticed the hints of weather change. We have suffered through another summer and the joys of breaking a sweat during the walk from your front door to your car. We can only let our kids go outside for short little bursts and they still come in smelling like a wet dog while being completely exhausted.
This has been a theme in many of my conversations lately and so I thought it would be a great time to throw this simple reminder out into the blogosphere.
We all know how the story goes… when you were young and dating it was all about fun. Of course it was, at that point you did not even fully understand what the word responsibility meant. As things progressed past just phone calls with your special friend (and emails or text messages depending on your age) to non-stop hanging out, you were all about having fun.
I’ve had a lot of local community members that I’ve know from living in the Katy area for many years, coming up to me and congratulating me on the ‘growth’ of Crossings Community Church. Invariably it comes out something like, “Aren’t you so excited…” or “Aren’t you so encouraged…?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes, I am so excited and encouraged about what God is doing at Crossings Community Church.”
At Crossings Community we spent the weekend talking about the family and what it means to own the responsibility of discipling our children. We also spent some time talking about how the church is desiring to equip, support, and resource the parents as the primary faith-trainers in their home.
Resentment is a tricky thing in the parent/child relationship. The word communicates an idea of not being treated fairly. I will be the first to admit that I am constantly preaching to my children the fact that nothing in life is fair. Every time one gets more nuggets than the other it is inevitable that a fairness case will be presented from the court of children in the dining room. I LOVE telling them about life and that life is not fair and that they will always face situations that feel unfair.
Aside from walking up to a pregnant women and telling her how big her baby must be… teaching on marriage and parenting can be one of the most dangerous mine fields. It is so touchy because none of us carry the title Master of The Universe when it comes to marriage and parenting. To even further complicate things, it is one of the most personal topics that we could possibly discuss.
I remember late in my college career I got this wild idea to run a marathon. The most I had ever run was about 10 miles and the marathon was about 6 weeks away. I was young and stupid. I’m so stubborn it took me a couple weeks of trying to jump into the training schedule as wells as some knee issues to realize it was too late. It was just too late. I didn’t continue running after that realization. I felt like if I could not do things on my terms I could not do them at all. Again, young and stupid.
I hear this same logic in parents often times. The dreams they had for their own parenting journey had been confronted with the realities of life and the opportunity had passed them by. Because things had not worked out exactly as they had hoped, they have, in a sense, thrown their hands in the air signaling their surrender.
A selfie, according to Wikipedia, is a “self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone. Selfies are often shared on social networking services such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr. They are often casual, and are typically taken either with a camera held at arm’s length or in a mirror.”
Although it may sound a little cheesy, the truth is that the most beautiful rainbows often find their full glow after the most tumultuous storms. Here is a less cheesy and more vulgar illustration, have you ever noticed that while feeling really horrible at your stomach, if you actually ‘get sick’ things seem to feel significantly better for a bit? I didn’t want to leave anyone out… whether a rainbow watcher or someone intimately familiar with nausea, you get the idea.
However, I’ve come to find that I miss out on so much of what God wants to teach me if I am consumed with the season of struggle coming to an end. God does not only want to work through our hindsight – although that is one aspect of the way He works.
Engaging children through literature is an easy way to pass on such needed swords in our battle to protect them against the world. And not just protect them, but equip them with the armor of God: the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit.
Reading secular literature as a Christian has been a topic of debate for as long as there have been books and Christians. As parents, we often question whether our children are reading appropriate material at school. We worry they are independently selecting the wrong stories…, stories too violent, or worldly, or sinful. It becomes especially difficult when we see a trend in young adult literature emerging that we aren’t sure is appropriate for our children. Take The Hunger Games for example. This series ignited interest for children who had never read before. Because some parents weren’t reading it for themselves first, there were probably children reading about particular topics that would have been unacceptable to parents if they had known. We must be a critical component in guiding them through secular literature through the eyes of a believer.