Week 6 – The Target
You and Me Forever
Ch. 6 : What’s Really Best For The Kids?
What would break your heart more? If your kids don’t end up loving you? Or if they don’t end up loving Jesus?
This profound question posed by Francis and Lisa aligns with the missionally-focused marriage perspective discussed in previous chapters and sets the stage for this missionally-minded family chapter.
My take away from this chapter is that for most of us, we need to intentionally evaluate or reevaluate our parenting goals and the order of our affections. And surprise – the Bible gives us insight to what those goals should be and the proper ordering of our affections.
One such parenting revelation is:
Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord, children, a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth.
– Psalm 127:3-4
Like many of you reading this, I’m not a warrior and I’m not a hunter, so the metaphor given in Psalm 127 has always been completely lost on me. But, when reading this verse in the company of men in our small group, they immediately understood that an arrow is a weapon and that it is shot with a target in sight. Which created for me this, AHA!
So, if our children are like this weapon, then there must be a target in sight. Heaven. And I don’t think arrows have any other goal or purpose. An arrow’s mission is clear: hit the target.
Wow. Okay. So what’s my role in helping my children hit the target? Francis writes:
The greatest lesson you can teach your kids is how to make decisions with an eternal mind set…Teach your children that life is short and uncertain, but our future is not.
– Francis Chan.
On one hand, I find this extremely relieving. It releases me from the tensions of perfect parenting.
It basically says: if I put God first, if I let my kids see that the mission of God is the priority in my life, if I invite my children to join me in that mission, then I’m parenting in the light of God’s promises.
On the other hand, prioritizing biblical truths–demonstrating them for our children daily–is truly an intimidating charge. It means dealing with all the junk in my life; it means getting deep, not just surviving the day’s activities with healthy, smiling children in tow.
It means truly loving God more than my husband, more than my wonderful children and more than myself.
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
– Matthew 10:35-39
The real challenge presented in every chapter of You and Me Forever is to put God and his mission first. This challenge also seems to be the answer to maintaining fulfilling, loving marriages and to raising children who are blessings and not burdens.
This week, let’s spend time really reflecting on Francis and Lisa’s challenging question – “What would break your heart more? If you kids don’t end up loving you? Or if they don’t end up loving Jesus?”
How can you model an eternal mindset this week to your children, or a child in your life, leading them to fall more in love with Jesus?
And be uplifted. As a follow-up to this question, Francis encourages us that children who love Jesus most will also love us deeply!
Kelly is a web and graphic designer living with her two kids and husband in Morgantown, West Virginia. She is a creator, always thinking and praying about what else she can design, code, create or be part of…a true blessing and also the cause of many sleepless nights! A big believer in authentic Christian community, she’s been part of a small group for over 12 years and loves the idea of continued christian community online – like this book club.
Kelly would love to connect with you on her website.