Wednesday, February 14, 2007

In taking a hard and realistic assessment of my family, I found that I do Bible with my children in homeschool, but my children may not growing in their own independent relationship with Jesus in that they don't seem pick up their Bibles or pray outside of our family time.

It's a somewhat painful realization for me, because I found great comfort as a child in seeking Jesus for myself as it was not something my family did at all. I walked alone to the church in which I had kindergarten on Sunday mornings. When our family moved while I was in fifth grade, I quickly found a ride on my own to and from the closest church. Starting in the fifth grade, I took notes on the sermon and studied madly on my own at home.

Looking over my own children, I see now I may have made the mistake of doing too much for my children and not guiding them toward more spiritual independence outside our family worship.

The best news is that it is not too late. God is so very kind and offers second, third, and fourth chances to those of us on the slower side of the learning curve.

I met with Him asking the question, "What does it mean to really be a Christian?" America, with all it's mess, is known as a Christian nation. God help us! And I have no interest in simply raising nice "Christian" children. There are already plenty of nice Christians out there giving lip service to Jesus and going to church who have no earthly or heavenly idea how to be in relationship with God.

I want to raise people with Kingdom purpose who are absolutely crazy about their King. How to accomplish this?

Here is God's brilliant answer to my heart.

A Christian life is three-fold:

I. Relationship time with God daily.
Not the time for head knowledge, but getting close and personal. Giggling, playing, having fun, running through a field, petting an animal, seeking treasure, dancing, joy all have a place in this daily intentional time with our heart set specifically on being with Jesus. Other days may be better suited for quiet resting in His arms for comfort or weeping.

II. Discipline of Study.
This may not be everyday, but Christians must seek know God better, more deeply through study of His Word. It is a spiritual discipline which may or may not come naturally, like the desire to do physical exercise or not. However, spiritual fat is far more deadly than body fat.

III. Service.
A. At home. Clanging gongs sound for those who ignore service to the ones they love most.
B. In the community. And God forbid, not just the church. The lost just may not be there.

I took these three principles and spoke with my thirteen year old son, Peace. Peace agreed that he wanted these things in his life, so together we worked them into his weekly school assignment sheet.

Though I am sure I had no business doing so, I asked Peace one day last week how he spent his relationship time with God. He didn't mind answering, "Today I prayed room to room for everyone in our family." And I've found him reading a book I bought for study, Can You Hear Me by Jersek, a book about listening to God.

And you know what else? Something is happening in this young man. Peace planned took initiative to plan something for his scout troop which he has never done before. And after a year or so of quiet sullenness, Peace is suddenly back to singing worship songs he loves around the house as he enjoys his day.

Didn't I say God is kind?


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