Growing up in Oklahoma City, we didn’t live in an upscale neighborhood, we didn’t drive the nicest car, we didn’t eat out much, and we didn’t wear the latest styles in clothing. We did grow up in a home environment where we knew we were loved and cared for. We were taught from a very early age that it’s not what you wear, drive, etc. that really matters, but rather how you make the journey in life every day! Our mother always … always … taught us that in whatever we chose to do in life, that in every aspect of our young lives … we were to give it our best, to do our best, because that’s all that God has ever asked of us!
We saw these principles demonstrated in living color every day by the way our mother lived and handled herself, She modeled how to handle disappointment, heartache, happiness, joy in the heart and faithfulness to the Lord above all else! It can be really difficult for someone to learn how to do most anything without seeing it done first. We learn so much better when something is demonstrated before our eyes and usually repeated several times. This process sounds just like what the Lord told the nation of Israel in Deuteronomy 6 and the Ephesian brethren in Ephesians 6, doesn’t it?
Even as our young learn from an early age how to dress themselves, tie their own shoes, how to both read and write, how to assimilate facts and truths, solve problems, they must be guided in developing those qualities of character and value that the Lord wants us to not only possess, but use daily! When we can help our young come to know just how much the Lord values each one of them … to know just how pleased He is when we honor Him with our love, kindness, respect and obedience … to know that He always expects us to give Him our best … they will become better than just average, they will become “the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:13-16). God wants us to know we are His children.
It takes a deliberate and purposeful effort on our part to teach and model before young eyes how to be honest and thoughtful! It takes a resolve on the part of each of us who have lived longer, seen and experienced more first-hand, what it’s really like to live on planet Earth! It takes a persistent disposition to continually teach the importance of being more Christ-like in every way and to understand that when all of the glitter and smoke of this world ends what will matter most is: “Did I love God with all of my heart, soul, strength and mind?”
God’s people, the people of the Book, have a set of values and principles to live by that really do work and they will enable those who choose to “walk in the light of God’s Word” to stand out!
Please teach your young, our young, the following with a sense of urgency that NOW is the only time you actually have:
- Learn how to be more compassionate and caring and then show it.
- Learn how to be honest in every way, every word and every deed.
- Learn how to make better decisions based on God’s Word, not their own will, emotions or those of others.
- Learn to be a leader, not a follower.
- Learn how to show respect to others and be courteous.
- Learn to be strong and courageous in standing up for what they believe.
- Learn to have a greater sense of responsibility for all that they do in life.
- Learn to be good citizens in a world that is quickly changing and to be genuinely concerned about their school, community and of course, the church!
- Learn to always have a deep sense of self-respect and self-discipline.
Everything we do in life is to be done with the purpose of allowing others to see the Lord and His ways alive and well in us! If we are only doing these things for the praise of men and self-glorification … the Lord says we will probably get all of that … but it will be like the striking of the match that flames up and then burns out and is gone! How much better to light the way, not just the moment!
Bill Fairchild, Jr.