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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Processing


What we teach our kids about the Christian life will determine, to a great extent, how they respond to difficult times.  If they believe that everything is always going to turn out well, that this journey is a simple matter of praying a prayer and living a prosperous life as one pleases, they will, at some point have a rude awakening.

That is one of the reasons that Deuteronomy 6:6 – 7 is so important and so difficult today.  In past times fathers were around the kids on the farm or in the family business on a daily basis.  It was easier to process life through the lens of the scripture with them.  Today, with the way we work in urban areas, with men working in jobs at corporations, with business travel and the schedules we keep, it takes a concentrated effort to process life with our kids.  In a lot of cases they do not even know what we do and the struggles we are going through.  Neither do we know what they are facing day to day.  Add that to the difficulty of getting teens to talk and it becomes a really tough assignment.

It is hard but we have to make the time to be with them.  The “with him” principal is what Christ modeled for us in with the 12.  The succinct statement of that is in Mark 3:14.  Note the order.  As we read through the New Testament we see over and over again Christ processing events with the 12 from His perspective.

Look for ways to bring what you are learning in the Scripture and how it applies to your both the good times and the hard times into your conversations with your kids.  What do you do now to make that happen?  Other dads can learn from both what has worked and what has not.

1 comment:

  1. The "old" doctrine (40+ years ago) was that it's not the quantity of time that counts, it's the quality. In one sense that seems to make sense, except for the fact (I choose that word carefully) that quality time can seldom be planned; it happens in the midst of time we spend with our families. And the best environments are not planed times of spiritual input (although that technique has it's place) As you point out Mike, it's when it happens in life that is is most powerful. The opportunity to bring Scripture into "when you sit, when you walk, when you lie down, when you rise up" takes more than(but doesn't replace)a family fun night. Family vacations/trips have been some of our best.

    I would say I didn't do well with this; how I can live so long and learn so little is an enduring puzzle. Sadly, we're a long way from our grandchildren and any sort of protracted time with them is even more of a challenge.

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