Yes, I know. I’m the Worst. Blogger. Ever. If that award is anywhere to be awarded, send it my way. I deserve it! One of our last blogs already detailed how busy we have been, and the past few weeks have been NO EXCEPTION, but, at any rate, I feel guilty for abandoning my blogging family so much since our move! 😦
Since taking on my new role as Youth Minister for two parishes in Southern Maine, I have been faced with new thoughts about our faith – some of them, I never thought I would have to look face-to-face, but therein lies the joy of life! Nothing is ever what you THINK it will be!
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Children and teenagers today don’t have it the way our grandparents did…or our parents…not even like I did. Youth of today are faced with enormous responsibility – so much so that I am fairly certain naptime would be a welcome word for many of today’s middle-schoolers and teens. Seriously.
When I was growing up, going to church and being involved with our Christian faith was not a CHOICE. It was just what your Sunday and Wednesday (evenings) consisted of. At least in my family, and the families of MANY of the kids I grew up with. Today, kids playing soccer or football have not only practice, but games and tournaments on Sunday mornings – forcing the child to CHOOSE between missing those activities and attending church…Wait, did I just say ‘forcing the child to choose’?!?
Oh…I did…and it isn’t any mistake! Parents today are allowing their children to be tiny adults…They make decisions about the events they are involved in and where their priorities are placed…Do you see anything wrong with this picture?
Re-read the passage from Deuteronomy above: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
As parents, it is your responsibility to show Christ to your children. That is your JOB as a parent, just as it is your duty as a spouse to show Christ to your husband or wife. Children are not born to you for show and tell, dressing up, parading talents, or reducing your tax burden. Children are God’s gift to parents, and in turn, they are to lead them to Christ.
As a couple facing infertility head-on, Craig nor I take our future responsibility lightly, and it is painful to see the teens I lead have to choose between playing in their soccer game or going to youth group or church. Parents need to set priorities – and this is a nationwide phenomenon.
As Christians, if we believe what we read in the Bible, we know that Sunday is the day for the Lord. He teaches us plainly that NOTHING should be above Him in our lives, and that includes high school activities, Sunday football, shopping trips, family get-togethers, etc. etc. This past Sunday 6,000 Maine high schoolers were involved in a soccer tournament in the morning! 6,000 players and HOW many parents and siblings?!?
When did we stop being a Christian nation, and allow the future of our country to CHOOSE for themselves how they would spend their Sunday? Even worse, when did parents decide it was okay for school events to be held during church services?
6 In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
33 But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
This doesn’t just apply to parents or those raising children, either. This applies to each and every one of us. The moment you make the choice to put God first in your life, to take all of your concerns to Him in prayer, to lay all of those you love on His Altar, things will begin to dramatically change for you. Doors will be opened and His Will will begin to be illumined. Things that mattered so much before will fade away, and you will yearn for God’s favor.
It’s a miraculous thing being a child of God. Don’t pass up eternity for soccer on Sundays.