On Christmas Eve, 30 years ago, my then future father-in-law put together a beautiful Bentwood rocker. The pieces had been carefully crafted and the parts carefully stored in the package it had been shipped in. The packaging (I would think) would have included the instruction manual. However, like all of us at times, the Kight men didn’t always like to refer to the manual. They liked to “figure it out” on their own.
When the rocker was eventually given to me, I was also handed a bag of washers. It seems they had been overlooked during assembly. It didn’t take many months of rocking our first born son before screws started working their way loose and falling on the floor. As you can imagine, it shortly became wobbly and unsafe to rock in. No matter how much I loved that rocker, it couldn’t be as strong and durable without the washers as it could have been with them. Following the instruction manual would have made the all the difference in longevity for that special old rocker.
Striving toward Christ-like values in ourselves and in our children seems to work the same way. We need to use ALL the parts God gave us – constant prayer, biblical truths, a Godly “village” as we raise children, and our own close personal relationship with our Father. All these pieces help the probability of God raising strong and durable children through us.
We know we will mess up and that sometimes, even if we think we have used our best efforts, our children will merge off the path anyway … as will we. Trusting God has a plan through it all is key.
Having “trust” though includes continuing to use all the parts he gave us through the tough and the easy times. Sending our children to church every time the door opens won’t mean a lot if they don’t see Dad get out of bed on Sunday and worship with Mom. It also won’t mean much if they don’t see Mom down on her knees when her world is rocked.
Programs and a pastor can’t do it all for our children. It takes every piece mentioned in the instruction guide working together. Stay invested – even when you're dog tired and God feels far away. Don't hesitate to lean on christian friends and mentors when you feel, well, just spent. You'll see the payoff one day when that treasured child, then a young adult, comes home to share with you the road he feels is being mapped out for his life… a God-centered road. Now that’s an awesome moment that is going to make all of this worthwhile! Passing on the importance of faith to your children and letting them see you mess up and rebound as a stronger person in Christ is the best instruction guide you can give to them. It's also a guide that will without a doubt help you in building that beautiful Bentwood heirloom that God has hand-crafted … your child.
Hang in there, Moms!
(This is written in memory of my father-in-law, B.J. Kight, who went to be with his Father in heaven Christmas morning 30 years ago …the day after putting together the Bentwood rocker)
Mom 2 Mom
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