Wednesday, April 20, 2011

the blessing of 13

Today's devotion is a personal note about our family and the joy we have living life together following Jesus!

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

I am spending the rest of this week with our oldest child, Rebecca, celebrating her 13th year of life.  She is a precious girl, the apple of her dad's eye and a blessing to her mom.

The past 12 months have brought some special things that only she got to do.  There were some books we read together and some things she got to do.  But this week is a special trip that we will spend together enjoying life and talking about God as well as the future.

My prayer is that on trips like this and in my time with each of my kids when they are 13 that we will continue to shape them to be strong people of faith who are convinced of God's truth and able to live it out.  We can't take our kids for granted.  That is why my wife and I planned to do something special like this.

We aren't perfect parents.  We often struggle.  Yet we desire to help our kids make great decisions.  Sharing life with them and connecting with them is so important.  During the next few days I ask that you pray for us that we will get to connect.  I want this daughter of mine to know how great she is and how much God loves her.  I want her to know that her daddy is proud of her and honored to be her father.  That means I have to exemplify what a great father and what our Heavenly Father is like.  What a huge task.

I love my kids, all three of them, and I'm looking forward to more trips, more learning, more sharing and even more ways that their momma and I can turn them on to the things of God.  Life is too short.  They won't be young long or give us this kind of opportunity for long.

That is why parents have to lean on God.  My commitment is to turn my attention to this time with my precious daughter and celebrate the blessing of 13.  Here is one of my favorite verses about being a disciple maker (which is what I really have described here):

for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord.

I live on in my kids.  Faith will live on in those I disciple and help walk with Jesus.  If my kids don't walk with God, we have missed one of the greatest responsibilities that God gave us as parents.  Therefore, we make a commitment to tell them about Jesus, but not just tell them about Jesus, show them who He is and what He is like.  There is no greater honor and joy to spend the next 4 days celebrating the blessing of 13.

Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.

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