Everyone loves getting gifts.
Top Five Gifts I’ve Received
- My first bike: 1963
- My first car: 1973
- My first serious Fly Rod: 1983
- My first chronograph watch: 1997
- My first trip to Israel: 2011
Other Gifts I’ve Received
- Loving parents
- Life tools
Parenting and Gifts
Jesus said that fathers know how to give good gifts to their children. He was right. What is the greatest gift a parent can give? Love? A happy childhood? Education? A stable home? A great bike? All good gifts.
What about the gift of faith; the gift planted and nurtured in the heart of a child? Is that a good gift?
Consider This From Michelle Anthony
“The best gift we can give our children is the confidence to see that we believe everything is filtered (even the bad stuff) through God’s hands. We need to release our control of their circumstances. We need to start looking at these hard things that happen in our kids’ lives as things that God wants to use to refine them—and then we need to walk with them, prayerfully, and model for them how they should respond in grace under trial.”
Parental Fear, From Michelle Anthony
“If I know that spiritual growth comes out of my painful trials, why do I try to protect my children from similar experiences? That’s the real question. Why would I want to keep my children from the very things that I know, firsthand, will grow their faith in God and their dependence on Christ? Why? Because it pains me to see them hurt. As parents we lose sight of the end goal, and we sacrifice it for today’s pleasures.”
What One Parent Told Me
“Our job is to gradually teach them. Baby steps. We put them in small situations to test them when they are young, when the consequences of failure are small. Then gradually, as they grow, they are tested more and more. We don’t keep them in a bubble till they are 18 then throw them to the wolves. We teach them lessons as they go so that when they leave us they can be trusted with the big stuff.”
Loving the Different
We want to raise our kids to love and care for others, but fear what could happen. We don’t want them seeking the acceptance of those who are different, but offering acceptance to the without being drawn in to their misbehaviors. It’s hard.
Giving What We Don’t Have?
Without a doubt, the greatest gift a parent can give is the gift of faith, the fundamental belief that God loves them and seeks to lead, guide, and help them.
A national survey found that more than 80% of parents believe they are the primary source of spiritual training for their children. Yet, less than 10% of those same parents pray, read the bible, have family devotionals, or serve in a ministry with their children.
Where is the disconnect?