In teaching you cannot see the fruit
of a day’s work. It is invisible and remains so,
maybe for twenty years.
~ Jacques Barzun
School is finally out, and the kids are enjoying a much needed break. Nathaniel is down stairs laughing with Brendan while the hum of the dryer offers its steady beat to our tempo of peace.
While enjoying this time of rest, I’m reminded of nights quite different from this. Not too long ago–a few months in fact—I was sitting at the dining room table with Nathaniel, while night after night he struggled to multiply and divide equations that challenged his mind.
Hunched over the page with sharpened pencil held tight in his grip, he complained, “I don’t know how… I can’t do this… This is too hard…”
But I challenged him to press on in the best way I could until he knew how, until he was finished, and until he was able to master each one on his own.
As a mother, my job description includes teaching my children well. Whether it be mathematics, moral values, spiritual concepts, or virtuous living–each lesson must be taught until a child fully understands, is able to stand on his own, and is able to master the skill.
We teach them these things so that they will be equipped to go out into the world and live an abundant life. That’s wonderful, but as a spiritual leader I also have the responsibility to lead them toward a victorious and eternal life in the spiritual sense.
What if we raise our children, only to find out that those seeds have fell by the wayside?
What if everything that we teach them is plucked up by the enemy the very moment they step away from our home?
Mark chapter four tells us that things like persecution, the worries of life, deceitfulness of wealth, and a desire for other things can all cause those seeds we plant to become unfruitful.
Unfortunately some parents are experiencing this, which is why it’s so very important that we equip them in the best way we know how, BEFORE they step out of our homes and into the world.
What can we offer? The answer is found in Ephesians chapter six where Paul writes to the church urging them to prepare themselves spiritually in the following ways:
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
~ Ephesians 6:13-18, NIV
Taking heed of that scripture we can teach our children to be ready and prepared for what lies ahead. These aren’t lessons that we’ll master in a matter of hours, but they are lessons that we can instil over time by offering our children a deep understanding of God:
- Learn what is truth and make it a part of who you are.
- Possess the righteousness of Christ.
- Be willing and ready to follow God’s lead.
- Embrace and rely on the wisdom of God.
- Focus on your salvation ahead.
- Study the Word of God.
- Be alert by avoiding temptation.
You are loved by an almighty God,
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