There's a good article on "instilling values in your kids" by Tara Ringham at RelevantMagazine.com
. I was especially challenged at the end:
Don’t limit their ability. We’ve all heard the verse, “Don’t let anyone look down upon you because you are young” (1 Timothy 4:12). Let it sink in that this verse doesn’t exclude preschoolers. Don’t underestimate how much of the gospel they can understand. Preschoolers are smarter than we often give them credit for.
I've worked with young people over the years, so 1 Tim 4:12
has been meaningful in the past. But that's a whole new take for me, considering my own 8-yr-old and 6-yr-old in the challenge of that verse.
There will always be things that fight against us and against our kids. We teach capitalism and greed at such an early age, not to mention the problems just around the bend with peer pressure and such. "Instilling values" for me means to help them process life, giving them the tools to make wise decisions and exert their own pressure back on their peers. We've got to model love for each other and love for Christ and all things godly, holy and righteous.
Two stories from our weekend go along with these thoughts (ever wonder why things like this come with force and with corroborating messages?):I took my son to the USC/Florida football game Saturday afternoon (don't ask). At halftime, the band/university paid tribute to soldiers, and their families, who'd given their lives in service in Afganistan and Iraq. It was very moving, but my son was tired of playing his Gameboy, tired of watching the game, tired of the noise. "Can we go now?" he asked. I felt very moved to bend down and say in his ear, "We're honoring people who died fighting for their country, for our freedom." I bent over, and mumbled all that - because there was such a knot in my throat at the thought of passing that kind of real honor on from me and my generation to him and the next gen.
At church yesterday, my wife and daughter were up front with all the other preschoolers, dancing and singing during worship. Vicki had a similar experience - my daughter was doing everything my wife was doing. When Vicki raised her hands, when she swayed, when she clapped, she had a follower. "She's going to worship like we worship" - what a challenge. Our little girl looked up and asked, "Mommy, why are you crying?"