Having Mixed Emotions About Back to School Time?
A Word for Parents
For I am mindful of the sincere faith that within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother, Lois, and you mother, Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. And for this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God… (2 Timothy 1:5-6a)
What Does it Say?
I am mindful of the sincere faith in you which first dwelt in your grandmother and mother, I am sure it is in you as well. I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God
What Does it Mean?
I have put off this blog for three weeks. I don’t want to think about school starting again. I am one of those parents that LOVES summer and wishes time would stop for a minute—but it never does. Today, with my eldest child, I begin the trek known as “senior year.” Today, like it or not, she will have her senior portraits taken. My heart can’t handle it. I don’t want to feel all the conflicting emotions that are fighting for precedence.
Bittersweet is a great term to describe it. “Bitter,” because this is my last year with her at home 24/7. This is my last school year to pour into my eldest daughter all the things she needs to know before she heads off to a college four hours away. This thought makes me panic; it makes me want to grasp to keep her here with me, just as she’s always been for the last 18 years. The bitter hurts.
This time can also be described as “sweet,” because I am so excited for her to embrace this new direction in life. I love that she prayed for months and months about where God wanted her go to school. I can’t wait to watch the journeys she embarks on and what she gets to see.
My heart is an absolute conflicted mess.
Whether we as parents are dropping kids off at kindergarten or they are driving themselves to their first day of their senior year, the school year can be daunting. Every year I say, “I want to be better, more engaged; I don’t want to forget which day is a half-day and what time my parent teacher conference is. I will not run from that dreaded science fair project and wait until the night before to get all the supplies. I will be on top if it this year!”
What does being “on top of it” really mean in the grand scheme of things? What does it really look like? I ran across these verses in 2 Timothy a few weeks ago, and God spoke to my heart about what is really important. Living out a sincere faith in front of your kids is a BIG DEAL.
As our kids go back to school this year, let us determine to kindle afresh our love for the Word of God. A genuine faith is a faith that is not one where we dust off our Bible app on Sunday mornings. A genuine faith is one that gets us out of bed a bit earlier or drives us to stay up a bit later and open up the Word of God and ask God to transform our lives. A genuine faith is one that stirs up in us in such a way where we must carve out specific minutes each day for God’s Word and direction.
I remember in high school when I would get out of bed early to ensure I had enough time to properly tease my hair and hairspray it in place so that it did not move. I still remember glancing into the dining room and seeing my dad every day with his Bible open, reading the Word of God and praying. That image is forever seared in my memory. My parents lived out their faith in the most genuine way in front of me, and remembering my dad at that dining room table has had a life-long impact on me.
Here in these verses, Paul is reminding Timothy of his grandmother and mother. These two women, in the middle of a corrupt Roman society, lived out their faith. They lived out the message of the Gospel in front of Timothy. Their legacy of faith had impact. Paul uses that real life example of faithfulness in the home to stir up and remind Timothy of the faith that is in him as well.
Paul goes on to remind Timothy in verse 7 that God has not given him a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and discipline. It can sometimes be HARD and frightening to live out genuine faith in our culture today; but this school year as parents, let’s determine to pass on that legacy: the legacy of a sincere faith that is not just talked about but is lived out. This school year let’s determine to be disciplined, above all, in the Word of God. Let’s LIVE BOLD, faith-filled lives in front of our families. A fire left to itself will burn out, so let’s stir the embers of faith this school year as never before.
Homeschool parents, public school parents, independent private school parents, and Christian school parents, what if we all together got on our knees and prayed fervently day after day for God to raise US up to live the Gospel in front of our kids in a supernatural way? Can we even imagine how in this school year we would see God work in unbelievable ways?
As the school year progresses we may fail at being those “super-parents” we expect ourselves to be: attending every performance, volunteering for every field trip, and having the most incredible science fair projects. But what if this year we determined to be those parents with a faith that is on fire? This will be hard; but God has not given us a spirit of fear but power, love and discipline.
Today, I embark on a bittersweet journey with my daughter. I pray that above all she will remember the Gospel fire that lives within me. Let’s tackle this school year saturated in the sweetness of the Word of God.
What Does it Mean to Me?
When are you carving out disciplined personal minutes to be in the Word of God? If not every day, will you determine to discipline yourself to open God’s Word three times a week?
Do you have a legacy of faith in your family, or will you be the beginning of that legacy?
How can your faith be described?
LIVE IT OUT:
Today, LORD, thank you for meeting me here in Your Word. As today proceeds, please stir up Your Word within me. Give me the power to live out the Gospel in front of my family today.
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