This has been an unusual year for me as a college instructor. I thank the Lord for His endless mercies and for the kind life He has bestowed upon our family. Once in a while, the world creeps into our lives. Students today say and do unspeakable things--I don't know why. They want higher grades given to them; humor isn't valuable unless it is at someone's expense; cheating isn't wrong . . . the list goes on and on. Being in a Christian college doesn't seem to deter them from this behavior. I hear all the time that these students are "hurting" and that we need to be patient and forbearing. The Lord certainly was and is with me, and I must work harder to follow His example.
My question is "why are these students 'hurting'"? Some have terrible stories and family situations. Others are just not taught better; they are not raised.
What can we give our children that really matters? What can we give them that will overcome the world? Firstly, we must introduce them to Him who has overcome the world. Teach them what is expected of them as Believers. Teach them about Jesus and how precious He is and what He did for them.
Secondly, give them your time. They think they want things, but what they really want is you. Play, read, laugh and discipline them. Believe me when I tell you, they need it as they grow older, too. They need for you to listen to them, not as a friend, but as a parent. Age doesn't change that relationship. Give them your attention when you can; when you can't don't feel guilty. Don't feel guilty when you need a break, some time to yourself. Take time to recharge--this will bless the whole family. A truth revealed to me over these years is that the more time you spend with them, the MORE you want to spend with them.
Tell them when they do something right.
Tell them when they do something wrong. Correct without belittling. Don't make excuses for them; hold them accountable but be as forgiving as our Heavenly Father is of us.
Stand up for them, but teach them that the Lord wants us to turn the other cheek. This one is really a challenge for me.
Teach them that when someone is unkind to them, it is far better to be the one hurt than the one doing the hurting.
Do whatever you can to stand between them and the values of the world. Don't fall for the lie that they have to learn what's really out there. I know a rattle snake is poisonous without standing next to it or trying to pick it up. Watch what they watch and listen to what they listen to. Guard their hearts, eyes and ears as they are growing up, and they will follow suite as they move into adulthood.
Pray over everything. I should pray more than I do.
Don't feel like you have to keep up with anyone other than the Lord.
Don't feel bad when they don't have the latest phone, computer or I-thing.
Focus on what is eternal. Paul tells us that what is eternal is not seen; what is seen is temporal.
Give them what matters . . .
II Corinthians 4:18
Please don't think we have had no troubles or worries in our home. I look back on so many mistakes I have made, but I can see clearly the good things the Lord has shown us as well.