Making our own pleasure a god that must be served is not a good or liberating god. Instead focus on discipline to say “yes” or “no” selectively and appropriately as it serves a higher purpose and calling. Focus on saying “no” to personal pleasure in order to create time, opportunity, and energy for serving others. In what simple area can you start to practice this discipline? Where do you need to draw the line and say “no” so you are free to say “yes” to something more important?
These were concerns and questions that I needed to deal with personally and with my family.
We want our kids to have a living energizing relationship with Jesus. This requires us to have one and to bring them into the intimate corners of this relationship. Going to church doesn’t cut it. It isn’t the church’s job. We decided that one of the best things we could do is teach the kids how to seek God daily and in the middle of whatever is happening. We say “yes” to God talk and “no” to foolish things.
For the past 8 years or so my wife has prayed with the kids on the way to daycare or school. I have done nothing because I was already at work. The kids and I would occasionally pray about something that was bothering them and ask God to love on them. They seemed to appreciate this but were cautious with me. It wasn’t a part of our relationship. It’s just the way things turned out. I took this as a sign that my leadership in their spiritual growth and training was weak.
We decided to put a time for bible reading, prayer, and reflective meditation into every day for 3 months. Daddy Bootcamp© starts each day by seeking God. It also attempts to draw attention to God in the midst of all that we do. For example, if the kids are scared of a storm then we pray out loud and immediately. It’s not formal. God is with us so we talk to him. Many of these conversations sound like:
“God help us.”
“Oh Jesus did you see that? We almost got hit by that car. Wait, of course you saw it, you saved us, thanks.”
“Look, a rainbow. Do you know the promise God made which he marks by the rainbow?”
You can have a living and vibrant relationship with your kids and God in one step. Ask them (kids and God) if they want to have a better relationship with you. If they say yes, then bravely ask them how they think it can come about. Get started.