A long while ago I was asked to list the five things I believed my children should know. I think it is very important that we teach our children the Christian faith, and if we do that, we will give them much more than five things to know. Our kids always give us plenty to talk about and actually I learn something new from them every day.
Several years have passed since I was originally asked this question, but as I have watched our kids grow, these things ring true even today. The best part is I believe my wife and I have done a good job teaching these qualities to our children and now, as they are getting older, they not only know them, they live according to them. So here is look at the Five Things My Children Should Know that I posted to my former blog at least seven years ago.
1 – God loves you and nothing of this world can separate us from the love of God. I’m not naive; my kids could someday make a bad choice. In a world so full of temptations and opportunities to make mistakes, I would like my children to know that no matter what they do they are still precious in God’s sight and he will always love them and forgive them.
2 – Loving your neighbor is not an emotional thing, it is an action; it is doing not simply feeling. Each chance I get I ask my kids to look around and see what is going on around them. I ask them to notice people and how their own actions impact the lives of others. Being a loving neighbor means treating people as you would like to be treated. It also means having compassion on those for whom it seems difficult.
3 – Everyone has value; everyone is called to contribute in some way. I have always been interested in what people are doing and getting to know a little about a lot of things. Along the way I found out that the hardest jobs are those that seem so insignificant. Try collecting the trash, or even working on a road crew during construction. Try one of these jobs for a week and you will see what I mean. Most of these people live in the margins of society yet, those who do such work are indispensable.
4 – Knowledge is not the same as wisdom. There are plenty of smart people in the world who do not have the gift of wisdom. Wise people know their limits and function within them. Wise people understand that even as someone else exercises poor judgment, it is not our place to judge. Wise people understand that there is always something new to be learned, and something worthwhile to pass along. Having wisdom means searching for that which pleases God in all you do.
5 – The fifth thing I want our children to know is what a privilege it is for us to be their parents. As we teach our kids what it means to follow Christ and to love people, they remind us that we too are loved; by them, and by God. My wife and I do our best but we are not perfect. But for God to entrust unto us the lives of these four young people is an awesome feeling. They are our greatest blessing here on earth. It is such a joy to be their father and to watch them grow as beloved children of God.