Bad Example

My heart’s desire is for my life to be an example/encouragement to my family and brothers in the Lord. However, there has been one area I don’t want you to follow my lead. 

I have Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Sadly though, many of you likely do as well but you don’t know it. I had it for years, before there were symptoms and diagnosed. I relied on my exercise to maintain my health primarily, managing my weight secondarily while ignoring cholesterol. 

Might I with great love encourage you to get your cholesterol checked (can be done inexpensively through labs without a doctor visit) and make sure it stays well in the green zone by what you eat and exercise? Also, I understand that having your waist measurement less than half of your height is another important factor. Even if you are at peace with where you will spend eternity, your family needs you alive and well.  

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). 

The Example We Set For Our Kids

Have you ever pondered what appetites are set in your children and your ability to influence them either positively or negatively? As we began our child-raising years, Steve and I certainly didn’t. We were just trying to keep up with our daily life tasks. However as our older children began reaching their teen years, we saw the reality of reaping what you sow and the appetites in their lives.

What Appetites for Food Are We Creating?

As an analogy, we might start with the appetite for food. Why are some children picky eaters and others eat almost anything? The picky eaters often don’t like or eat vegetables and other healthy food. My children grew up eating what I liked and therefore prepared—not particularly healthy food but not strictly junk food either. My appetites in food became their appetites. To this day, some of their favorite meals are ones I prepared for them as children.

I have seen other children whose moms could only eat extremely healthy food because of the mom’s health problems or simply her choice to only serve healthy food. Those children grew up enjoying that healthy food. I also observe children whose moms have gardens. These children have fresh produce to eat during the summer and are often allowed to graze from that garden. They are generally excellent eaters.

As our children grow up, their appetites in life are formed in large measure by what their parents love to do and by what they expose their children to and allow them to do. For example, many adults stay up late watching TV and movies for relaxation and entertainment. They sacrifice family time and sleep for their own pleasures. Expectedly, that is what their children will probably grow up with an appetite to spend their time doing. 

What About Other Appetites?

What if you didn’t want late nights and movies for your children? Could you affect it differently? Likely you could if you chose not to watch TV and movies but rather do other activities. For Steve and me in the evenings, we began to read the Bible as a family, spend time with our children, and go to bed early enough to get up and have personal Bible time and exercise before our work day began. With that example, our children should gravitate to productive evenings with family Bible time, other family activities, and early bedtime. That is the reality we see in our four married children’s families. 

Steve and I had happy memories of Halloween growing up. So we looked forward to our children having them too. However, after we were saved, our hearts grieved over the wickedness glorified on that evil holiday. Over time we completely distanced our family from participation and visibility of everything ungodly about it. You would think it was an easy transition away in those early days, but it wasn’t. Why? Because of how strong those appetites were in Steve and my lives. Oh, friends, beware of the power of appetites. Don’t underestimate them. 

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). We are always training whether we realize it or not. It is important that we consider what is “the way he should go” and then purposefully work toward that.

While we might focus on trying to avoid negative appetites, this verse gives us a powerful example of positive appetites, “I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints” (1 Corinthians 16:15).  

What appetites do you want your children to have as adults? What do you want them addicted to? How can you shape that? What might you need to change now in your own life to help your children not have your appetites that you know are not good ones?

Posted in: Mom's Corner

Are You The Problem?

Homeschooling is alive, well, and quite popular. Homeschoolers I have spoken with over the years want a better outcome for their children than other educational options offer. Not only is a better education desired (and generally achieved), but children, who upon completing their education, still have a strong faith in the Lord Jesus. 

Moms are usually the ones doing the majority of the planning, teaching, and grading, day-in-and-day-out. However, are you aware that you can be the one who effectively shipwrecks her investment with little effort on your part?  

Dads with poor and unsupportive attitudes can torpedo their children’s future. “How?” you ask. It is because Dad’s heart is generally impressed on the children’s hearts. What Dad loves, the children love, and what he dislikes, the children dislike. If Dad doesn’t care how well the children do in school, they aren’t going to apply themselves and will make it difficult for Mom. If Dad doesn’t have a heart for the Lord Jesus and isn’t serious about obeying Him, the children will be drawn to the world just like their father (you). 

I plead with you. Your income job is wood, hay, and stubble. Leading and discipling your family in the Lord Jesus is “gold, silver, and precious stones.” So many dads have it backwards. Brother, be dedicated to the work God has called you to do. 

“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood have, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire: and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

Politics to Jesus

I like pumping gas and going to the grocery store because I love meeting people. For example, last week while getting gas I greeted the person pumping next to our car. For some reason, she started railing about politics. I soon shared how thankful I was that regardless of the political climate, the Lord Jesus was ultimately in control, and I had total peace with that. Summarizing here, I encouraged her to read her Bible and come to know Jesus personally as well. 

She wasn’t offended with the discussion. Just the opposite, she was very happy. I love sharing Christ with people.

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). 

Steve