This weekend we started a new series called It’s Just a Phase, So Don’t Miss It. Chances are if you have been around kids, you have heard those words used to describe the actions and attitudes they are displaying. Often it is said to give a parent hope. “It’s just a phase” is almost always followed up with “they’ll grow out of it.”
They certainly will grow out of it … and right into the next phase. That’s why it is important to not miss the opportunity to give children what they need spiritually during each phase they go through.
In his weekend message, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder shared that when it comes to being a parent, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Boy, can I relate to this! Our “kids” are 19, 21, and 22 years old (yes, that means at one point they were 3.5, 2, and a newborn!). The long nights with a fussy baby, the struggles with a teenager, the long days of middle school homework (or homeschool), and the drama seemed to never end. And then POOF! The last one is graduating, and you’re on to the next phase—parenting adult children and possibly navigating an empty nest. (Our nest was empty for a couple of months last fall, but some birdies have returned. Ha!) All of this to say, some days were L-O-N-G, but man, those years flew by!
Kevin and I gave our lives to Christ shortly before Julia was born and were in the thick of being discipled (learning the Word with trusted mentors and growing in our relationship with Christ). By the time she was born, God had pressed it into our hearts to raise this little life that he had blessed us with (and the two that followed) for his glory. While we didn’t do everything perfectly, not even close, we were intentional about sharing Jesus with our kiddos and the hope that we have in him.
That’s the basis of the theme verse for this series:
He commanded our ancestors to teach them (the Lord’s instructions and truth) to their children, so the next generation might know them—even the children not yet born—and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands (emphasis added).
Through every phase of raising children or being around young people in some capacity, we are called to teach the next generation about the hope we have in God—about his instructions for life, about his love and grace through it all, and about what joy it is to know Jesus personally.
The question is, if we don’t do it, who will?
As a parent or someone who has influence on the next generation, what are some ways you can help kids know God, find freedom, and discover their purpose? Are you being intentional with the opportunities that God has brought to you? How can you get involved in being a godly influence for the next generation?
Parents, one resource you can check out is this Family Faith Plan offered by CedarCreek. The Family Faith Plan gives you developmental and spiritual tools to engage with your child and help them take steps on their own spiritual journeys.
Consider serving in CedarCreek Kids or Student Ministries to help reach the next generation for Christ. Whether or not you’re a parent, we can all play a significant part in the life of a young person.
Father, we lift up this next generation. Help us to be intentional in sharing the HOPE that we have in you. Give us opportunities to tell them about you. We pray that they will come to know you and live a life surrendered to you. May we be an example of surrender, obedience, and purpose, displaying the joy that we have in you. The battle is fierce, and the enemy wants us to fail, but in you, Jesus, we have victory for this generation and the generations to follow. In your precious name I pray, amen.
This post was written by Kendra Grubinski. Kendra is passionate about her relationship with Jesus and loves studying and sharing God’s Word. During the week, she is a Spanish Teacher at Findlay High School. She also enjoys spending time with her family and pups, reading, traveling, drinking good coffee and being active outdoors.
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