First Day of School

In a little over an hour from now I will do what millions of parents have already done, I will take my children to their first day of school for the year.  However, this year is a little different.  In many ways it is bittersweet.  This year I will be taking all three of our boys to school.  It is hard to believe that our youngest, natural-born born son is old enough to go to school.  In many ways it won’t hit me until Friday morning, which is a day off for me, because I am generally at work by the time the kids gets up.  And so I don’t see the all that often as I am working.  My wife on the other hand, I’m not sure how she is going to handle it because today will go from four children in the house to just one during the day. Again on Friday it will hit me because I won’t have one of my little buddies to play with (I wonder if this means my “honey-do” list is going to get longer).  It is natural for parents to feel anxiousness, anxiety, and even a little sadness as their children embark on another year of school.  I believe all parents worry about their children, and they worry a little bit more when the children are away from them.  However, it is natural for our children to grow up and become more and more independent.  I don’t want to be heartless of cruel here, but as a parent I see part of my job as raising three boys and Lord willing as long as she is with us, a little girl as giving them the tools they will need to succeed in life apart from Diana and I.  Does that mean I won’t be there when they need help later in life?  Absolutely not!  As long as the Lord gives me breath, I will be there for my family.  But I want to teach my children starting now (even before) that while they don’t have to depend on me as much, they do need to learn to depend on someone more important and more powerful than me, and that is God.  It is slightly out of context, but I hope you will see my point.  When Jesus was beginning His public ministry, John the Baptist made a specific statement that has always stayed with me.  It is found in John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” I want my children to learn what Proverbs 3:5-6 means when it says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  In order for me to teach that, I must not only talk about it, but more importantly I must live it out in front of them.

My children need to see their mother and father praying and asking God for guidance in decisions.  They need to understand that they can always count of God and lead them in the right path.  Part of that is daily prayer time with each other and having your children hear you pray, asking God for guidance on decisions.  We as parents need to teach them that you go to the Word of God and prayer for making decisions, not their gut instinct.  As a parent this is hard, because our natural tendency is to have our children lean on us, trust us, and depend on us for everything. We have the mentality that no one loves or cares for our children like we do.  No one has their best interest at heart like we do.  While that may be earthly true, that is not heavenly true.  The very God who created them in His image, who knows that number of hairs on their head, the very God who knows the direction of their life loves them and cares for them even more than we do as parents.  He knows that today’s heartache is going to lead to a stronger faith and a bigger blessing down the road.  So today as Diana and I drop our three boys off at school, we will be sad, but we will also be grateful that they have a Heavenly Father who is watching over them.  Are you trusting fully in God today?

By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him

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