Strong kids. Healthy, independent, and Jesus loving kids.
Raising strong kids with the strength they need to stand up for what is right.
I want to see them learn about God, grow in Him and live it out for the rest of their days.
Is that just wishful thinking? Can I actually raise 3 children with a deep, lasting love and respect for their God?
Some days, just getting them fed, brushing their teeth, cleaning up the floor under the table, separating the Polly Pockets from the Barbies and getting them to bed on time is enough to wear me out.
Parenting is work. Raising strong kids is a lot of work.
Do I have the energy I need every day to make sure that I care for their spiritual needs as well as their physical needs?
I must. I refuse to be a lazy parent. I refuse to throw in the towel because it is too difficult. I believe that my children are important to God and I have a responsibility to raise them in an atmosphere that breathes the things of God.
In the beginning of Matthew, we see Jesus call His disciples. He calls them and says, “Follow me.” They dropped what they were doing and followed Him. They started a life changing journey of following Jesus. They were ordinary men of different occupations, learning how to follow Him together. In chapter 10, Jesus is sending out the 12 disciples.
He was sending them into a land that was ignorant to the gospel and even hostile to those who believed in Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus tells them in verse 16, “I am sending you out like sheep among the wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
His warning is firm and sure.
As I put my girls on the bus each morning, I pray for them. I am sending them into a world that is cruel and sometimes even intolerant of someone who loves God.
I want to make sure they leave each day knowing what Jesus was trying to teach His disciples.
- “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
- “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body…”
- “You are worth far more than many sparrows.”
- “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.”
- “…and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”
I don’t know about you, but those are hard things to read.
Jesus said these things to his disciples to encourage them. To give them strength to go out into the world and live for God in every area of their lives.
In Matthew 11, Jesus is in Galilee speaking to a crowd about John the Baptist. He tells them that John was not like “a reed swayed by the wind.”
What did Jesus mean by that? He was referring to John’s strength of character. John preached God’s Word fearlessly and never gave in to popular opinion. He stood with God and opposed sin. That strength cost him his life. Chapter 11 ends with Jesus’ invitation to come to him.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
This is a promise for us today.
We can be encouraged by the words of Jesus.
Strong words meant to encourage us when we are at a difficult point in our journey of following God. And, we can know that the invitation for rest is ours as well. We can come to God, seek Him and know that He will ease our burden and give us rest. He will strengthen us to handle the cares and difficulties we sometimes carry.
He will give us the energy to care for our children’s spiritual lives.
He will help us as we raise strong kids who love and honor him.
He will give us the words and wisdom to give guidance in this very uneasy world.
We can raise strong kids who will not be “swayed by the wind.”
Check out this podcast about raising strong kids!