I have spent my parenting journey making a conscious decision to impart Jesus to my kids through intentional Christian living.
In the last twelve years, we’ve taken our kids to more than 5,000 church services, bought them dozens of Christian t-shirts, own a slew of inspirational fiction and non-fiction books, have attended bi-weekly community group, support nine Compassion children and do regular weekly devotions. We have 7 versions of the Bible, 3 Nativity sets, audio CD’s on inspirational living and countless worship and Christian music albums. We’ve traveled to Kenya the last two summers as a family and volunteer (daily) at the non-profit our family started.
If anything, we will die trying.
The other night we were doing “highs and lows” of our summer around the dinner table. We talked about the ups and downs of our trip across the country and even about some of the attention our family has received for doing what many call “extraordinary.”
And that’s when I knew we had to teach them the most important lesson yet in this parenting journey.
Because the older I get and the more we do, the more I’m convinced that only one thing really matters: I can spend a lot of time, money and energy being a Christian, but if we don’t have love, we have nothing. Above all, I want my children to love others.
I want them to understand that saying yes to God (Mercy House) doesn’t make our family special and it (shouldn’t) doesn’t make us different.
It simply makes us Christians.
At the end of the day after we’ve painted or taken brownies to a new neighbor or searched the couches for loose change to “change the world”, we do every bit of it for one reason: Because we love Jesus and that makes us love others and loving others magnifies our love for Jesus.
I want them to grow up thinking it’s normal to dirty their hands helping others, wherever that takes them and it just happens to have taken us to the continent of Africa. Our world likes to put a size on things and bigger is better. But in God’s economy, love always wins.
I want my children to know serving (locally and globally) is a key to true Christianity.
I want them to know that is where they will find Jesus.