I can see her walking across the stage. Her burgundy graduation gown billowing around a pair of wedge platform heels. A bright smile, full of promise for the future.
This day is eight short years away for us.
I can see it. Feel it. I know in my heart it will be bittersweet. My firstborn will go off to college and start a life filled with choices and opportunities.
Have we prepared her for the outside world?
I pray for my children. Every day. I pray over them before they leave the house, while they are at school, and I pray with them at night. I pray without ceasing. I pray for their friends, teachers, problems they face, or choices they make. Prayer is the first step in raising kids. I’m not sure if I started praying because I had kids or because they have me as a parent. Either way, I know that prayer is important.
Here are a few things I hope my kids know when they load up their little car and head off to college.
LIVE QUIETLY. My life is busy, too busy. I study my bible, write, volunteer at the school, review books, keep the house clean (most days), cook, and try to be a good wife and mom. There are days when I look back and think Was all of it necessary? I’m exhausted and don’t have much left for my family. I want them to understand that a quiet life is not rushed. It’s centered on God. All my busyness does not glorify God, so why do I do it?
MIND THEIR OWN AFFAIRS. With social media dominating our lives, it’s easy to over share. I know what my friend ate for dinner, who they are angry with, and when they buy new clothes. We love to talk about ourselves and social media has given us a huge platform. The problem is when we want to share something important it gets lost in all the noise. Say what you mean and MEAN what you say. I want to teach my kids to value their opinion, make it worth hearing, and understand the right time and place to say it.
LIVE WELL. Are we raising the next generation of Christ followers? I watched the Seniors in our church walk across the stage a few weeks ago and listened as they shared their hearts. The passion for Christ and desire to share His word was inspiring. Yes, we want to raise productive members of society, but above all else I want to see my kids living for Christ.
Pastor Bear recently talked about 1 Thessalonians 4:12. Isn’t this our goal for our children as they leave the nest? We want them to live a godly life, show God’s love to those who don’t know Jesus. When they head off to college, it would bring me great peace to know their relationship with God isn’t dependent on me. Are my kids walking with Jesus because it’s part of them or because it’s what we do in our house?
Who are they dependent on? Me? Friends? Family? The list could be a long one, but Jesus says to be dependent on no one. We can raise kids who walk confidently in this world. If my kids are seeking Him, then they will be open to being used by Him. What a beautiful thing to see my son or daughter being bold and following Christ regardless of the influences around them.
One day I will look back and think about when my kids were this age. I hope on that day it will be with a sweet sense of contentment. Of course, they could end up on Jerry Springer… but that’s a completely different blog post.
You can listen to Bear Erickson’s sermon that inspired this post here:
Select the May 22nd sermon.