August has arrived and the school supply aisles are bustling with both the giddy and the forlorn. As I prepare to send my own kids back to school, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I hope they learn — not just this year, but in the years to come. What do I hope to teach my children during the short time they are under my care? What do I want them take away from our conversations in the car or around the dinner table? What do I hope they learn from our sometimes heated discussions about their choices and behavior?
It would be too difficult to come up with a comprehensive list, but I think I’ve narrowed it down to just three things that I believe will help them cultivate good relationships and walk through life with hope. If my children leave my home having learned just these three things, I think I’ll call this parenting thing a success.
#1- Jesus Loves You
So much of our insecurity and sin comes from the fact that we don’t truly believe that statement. Eve ate the fruit in the garden because she believed the lie that God didn’t have her best interests in mind — that He didn’t love her perfectly. Jesus loves you and His love is perfect. He will use everything for your good. These are truths that I hope they never forget.
#2- He is Enough
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Just this. Things will get tough, but He will be enough. Always.
#3 – The Rules Apply to You…
…and they were NOT made to be broken. So much of the yuck in the world comes from people believing that the rules do not apply to them. From the guy double parked at your favorite coffee shop to the rogue nation that decides it’s okay to steal land and force their neighbors into slavery — the ugliness could be avoided if people would just follow the rules. Whether it’s the ten commandments or a tax law, life just works better if you do the right thing. Don’t drink before you’re twenty-one. Turn your paper in before the deadline. Pay your rent on time. No one owes you any exceptions. Your actions will have consequences and no one likes the guy who acts like they won’t. Can you imagine what would happen if our politicians began to believe and live by this truth?
My oldest will start high school in just 19 days and I am beginning to realize just how short this raising children stage of life really is. I’m so glad I know and believe #2 — He is enough. His grace will cover all the mistakes I make along the way and whether they walk away with these three truths burned into their minds and hearts or not, He will work out His perfect plan in their lives. For now, for this day, I will cover them with prayer and do the next right thing.
This post originally appeared at Carried by Hope.