Seven Truths I Taught My Children
I’m pretty much grace oriented—toward everyone, and especially with my children. As parents we need to teach and encourage, but also to correct and impart. So we have our mantras--the truths we say repeatedly to our children.
Some of them the kids will say along with us, so often have they heard them. Others they may not remember, but we know we have tried to instill them in their minds.Here are seven of mine:
1. His way is always better than my way
I know this because it is my life story—wanting my own way. When I came to Christ, I made an exchange—God’s way for mine. I thought it was settled, but I discovered I got to put it into practice every day of my life. I know I’ve said this to my children in many different ways—probably every day of their growing-up lives.
2. Never settle for less than God’s best
Most of us are so willing to settle—to accept “okay,” to go the easier route, to let up when we grow weary. When we realize God has His best in mind for each of us, we hear a call to a higher standard. I have always desired for my kids—and now my grandchildren—to hear and say yes to “God’s best.”
3. The greener grass was spray painted by the evil one
All of us have a tendency to desire more or better, to compare what we have to others, to look for the greener grass. Teens are especially good at it. That yearning, however, can be unproductive, and instead produce envy and discontent. Surely the evil one finds this an easy way to distract us from God’s purposes for our lives.
4. God desires to do more in me and through me than I can ask or imagine
I’ve always been a big dreamer—for myself and for my children. My deep desire is that my kids dream with God—that they seek and follow the more that He wants to do in and through them.
5. It is better to be kind than right
I remember saying this in kindergarten carpool. Growing up I was pretty much of a “know-it-all,” which too often created hurt feelings and resentment. Yes, it’s important to have courage to stand up for what is right, for the truth, but it isn’t necessary to always be right. It is better be kind—even if I’m pretty sure I am right and the other person is wrong, I can speak and act kindly.
6. God loves you no matter what you do or don’t do
Of course our children don’t always do as we say, and often do as we say not to. When we provide discipline and consequences, we seek to make sure they know we love them—that nothing they do or don’t can make us quit loving them. We need to help them to grasp the same about God. His love for us is not dependent on our following the rules, the do’s and don’ts. We can’t make Him love us more or less than He does.
These three letters are the acrostic I have used for almost every situation that seems to be negative. And I reminded my children often of these truths.
Pray--Tell God the truth about everything. When something is wrong to you, tell God how you feel: your hurt or anger or frustration or confusion. He already knows—be honest with him and yourself.
Thank--Give thanks in everything. A clear command of Scripture that I find amazingly changes things. Saying “Thank You” in the good and the bad alters my frame of mind, expresses trust that God is God and God is good, and seems to open the door to what God wants to do.
Look--Look for the good. In Jeremiah 32 we learn that God is always looking for ways to good to us. When we intentionally look for the good, it opens our eyes to see where that good might be happening.
Of course, there were more. Most often they heard from me the things I was learning from God. And now, as I spend time with my grandchildren, I find myself saying the same things.How do I make this real for my kids and grandkids? I live it consistently. I look for the teachable moments. I say it again and again—in real life situations. And I pray that it sinks in and lives out in their lives.
What about you? What did you hear from your parents? What do you say again and again?
C2014 Judy Douglass