Thursday, April 25, 2013

those stupid tests

It is that time of the year.  We have three kids, and all of them talking about final tests and the SOL tests they have to take in the coming weeks.  SOL’s are the Virginia Standard of Learning tests that students have to take to demonstrate that they have learned what they need to move on to the next level.

I love to see my children thrive, and our kids are pretty good students.  On Monday my wife and I got a message from our oldest that she passed a test that she was really stressed over.  Our youngest has reminded us almost every day the last week that he has SOL test beginning next Monday.  It is almost like that is all the teachers and students talk about is tests.

Let me say this for the record: I HATE TESTS.  Honest.  I really hate them.  But if we don’t have tests we cannot see if we have learned or progressed, and we will not be challenged to go further and do better.  Here is what God says about the tests we have in our lives:

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.  So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.  Let it do its work so you become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way.

Again, I don’t like tests, but as these verses say, tests and challenge bring about faith that helps us mature and grow.  They force us to the next level.  It is when we try to remove the test or miss the challenge that we will not move forward.  Literally we will miss some of the greatest things of life if we don’t go through the tests.

Try to explain that to your kids.  Parenting is tough.  Teaching is tough.  But the results, the payoffs, the blessings are so good.  To see a child grow and thrive is so good.  We have the opportunity to help the children around us, really the people around us as well, thrive and grow!

3 John 1:4  NLT
I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.

Late last year I read Mark Batterson’s book Praying Circles Around Your Children, and I was reminded what a blessing children are.  I also heard God directly say to me that it is my responsibility to pray for my children.  They must know that I am praying for them.  They need to feel my hands touching their heads or their shoulders as I pray for them and pray over them.  Prayer will help my children do well on the tests, in and out of school, that they will go through.

One of the things that I love is hearing my children pray.  Maybe you have heard me talk about our family devotions that we do every night.  This month we started a new way of doing devotions.  Each person has to choose a TV show, movie or book that we have seen or read, talk about what we learn about faith from it and then find a Bible verse that relates.  How awesome to listen to my kids talk about the truths of the Bible and how we can apply them to our lives.

May our lives and our impact help our kids and others deal with those stupid tests that come our way so often.

NOTE: Continue to pray for Leon White as he is now at home with hospice care.  (Send him cards, visit and take food by -- soft and easy to eat -- write Leon at 212 College St, Apt 3, Martinsville, VA 24112).  

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