Tomorrow is a big day here in Lee County as our school system officially kicks off the first day of the new school year. There will be nervous first time students bumbling around the halls trying to find their classes and not make eye contact with upperclassmen. There will be students wondering if they have the courage to eat whatever that mystery dish is on their lunch trays. Some students will be prioritizing how to get school work and extra curricular activities done and done well, while others will be figuring out how to procrastinate and get out of learning all together. No matter what, everyone will have some sort of survival plan.
Today, I want to encourage our parents to have their own plan together to help their students survive the school year. As we all know school is often the place where our Christian students are truly put through trial by fire. Their beliefs and values are tested by peers and faculty. Too often our students don’t have the solid footing of knowing what they believe about Christ and why, and therefore are swayed whatever is the popular way to sway. So this year parents let’s make a difference.
One of the first things I want to encourage you to do parents is to impress upon your students the importance of spending daily time in the Word and Prayer. This is one of the greatest things that my parents did for me. They asked me if I was doing my devotions and often even helped find me devotionals that I could work though throughout the school year. That time in the Word and prayer was where I could pour out to God what was going on at school and all the challenges I faced, and then through the Bible find out what God’s answer was. It gave me a firm foundation to withstand temptations and pressures I faced. This devotional and prayer time can do the same for your child as well. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”(NIV) Not only can it help your child when they are older but right now. So please pursue your child to pursue God’s Word and prayer.
Next, make sure they are getting the fellowship and instruction that they need. When I was helping lead a youth group a couple of years ago I noticed a huge problem that I had heard about from others in ministry. Parents that are solid believers weren’t making their children attend church and youth group. Whether it be just a letting the student do what they want or putting them in or scheduling sporting/extra-curricular events that keep them out, the parents were playing an instrumental part in their student not being a growing member of the church community. This is a problem in churches across our nation and our students are putting this time of teaching and fellowship at church lower and lower on their list of priorities. I have found that students of strong believing parents often have as much/little Bible knowledge as the students who are totally unchurched and don’t know Christ. This is a very sad truth, and it falls directly on the parents who are not instructing their kids in God’s Word and are allowing them to stay out of Church. If they don’t receive this instruction and crucial fellowship how can we expect them to be solid believer or followers of Christ at all.
Last, but not least parents let’s take a look at our prayer and devotional time. Are we spending time in God’s Word seeking His will and direction for our lives. Are we spending time on our knees pleading before the Lord for our students’ salvation and firm boldness for Christ in school? This has to be a daily part of our lives. How can we expect this of our students if we are not willing to do the same. The Bible says that we will be known by our “fruits”. Our actions and attitudes will let others know if we are the genuine deal or a hypocritical fake. And who watches us more than our own children? No one! So please set that example to our students this year!
I hope this blog hasn’t been too preachy for your ears and eyes, but rather a reminder to hopefully do what you already should be doing. God has given us a great charge and our students desperately need us to follow through. So lets all agree to be there this year to help our students stand strong and be bold for Christ!!!
Today Erin, our kids, and I took my mom out for lunch for her birthday which was on the 2nd. And other than Maeven getting pretty loud and us having to shush her a little bit we had a great time. I am very thankful for another birthday that God has given my Mom, and even more thankful that God gave me such a Godly mother.
When Erin and I visit with supporting churches or potential supporters one thing I always share with them is about how thankful I was to have parents that encouraged me to spend time in prayer and the Bible daily. Parents that taught me the importance of having a growing relationship with Christ. My Mom was the one who would check in with me about whether or not I was taking my devotional time and most times the one who would be able to figure out when I was struggling with something and encourage me to honor God no matter what. That influence has played a huge part in my desire to disciple and work with the teens here, because I know so many of them don’t have the Godly parents that I was blessed with.
So to sum things up, I am so very glad and thankful for the mother God gave me and I hope she has many more Birthdays that we can enjoy with her!