Tuesday, August 08, 2017

The spiritually alert parent

Image: Pixabay
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 37:1-20

TO CHEW ON: “And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind.” Genesis 37:11

Jacob made more than one mistake as a parent. A glaring one was to show preference for Joseph over his other sons. It caused envy and jealousy among the siblings.

Joseph’s brash boasting about his dreams didn’t help. When he told his brothers about their wheat sheaves bowing down to his, they came to hate him. After a second dream, which he told his brothers and his father, even his doting dad rebuked him. But then Jacob did something right. He “…kept the matter in mind.”

This reminds me of Mary, mother of Jesus and her reaction to the unusual happenings around Jesus’ birth when she “Kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” - Luke 2:19.  Again when she saw his obvious giftedness in understanding and expressing spiritual truths at twelve, she “kept all these things in her heart” - Luke 2:51.

As parents and grandparents, one of the things we want most for our offspring is that they find their purpose in life. One of the ways we do that is to watch and then keep in our minds and hearts what we see of their gifts, strengths and weaknesses, and how God is at work in them. I believe this also involves praying into and over these things as we think about how to give them direction.

In his inspiring book Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions, George Barna shares this bit of advice on how we give such direction.

“What can you do to help the youngsters with whom you have contact discover God’s purpose for their lives? As you explore their personality, spiritual gifts, passion, intellectual capacity, physical abilities, character traits and resonance with particular biblical characters and stories, funnel that knowledge toward guiding them to a clear idea of the role that has been reserved for them in God’s army. Encourage them to feel neither arrogant nor disappointed by that role. No calling is better than any other, and if it is God’s calling for them, then it is perfect for them" - George Barna, Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions, p. 66.

Dear Father help me to be a watcher, to observe and pray into the young lives around me and then encourage them in the dreams you have planted in them. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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