Raising them right

"And Joshua said unto all the people [of Israel], . . . choose you this day whom ye will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:2,15

These photos were taken of our family out by the lake after church last Sunday by Lourdes Manners, a wonderful photographer in the CC Family. (Thanks, Lourdes! What a great job she does!!)   The following was my "cup of coffee" ezine devo for our Celebration Church ladies yesterday, and I thought I'd share it here today...

What a fantastic service this past week!!! God has been moving so mightily and lives are being changed. This past Sunday night we also hosted newcomer's night in our home and it was packed!   While Dustin and Jordan mingled with the adults, Savanna tried to keep all the kids corralled as best she could although there were an overwhelming amount of them. What a great blessing to have! We LOVE kids! Several of the newcomers remarked about how involved our children are in many different aspects of church ministry, from leading in worship to literally "doing whatever needs to be done around the church." We always mention that first of all, they have been serving literally all their life, and second it's not because they are pastor's kids but because they are Christians! We serve because we love Jesus. As a family we even go to church on vacation in other cities, not because we are a pastor's family but because we are believers who love to worship and be with other Christians and see what God is doing everywhere. We don't "have" to go to church, we "get" to go to church! We don't "have" to serve, we are BLESSED to serve!!

We cannot afford to be spiritually lazy in raising our children. The pull of the world is so strong. They need all the Godly influence they can possibly receive, in the home and through the church. If you want your children to love and serve Jesus don't think it will all just pan out in the end if you lay around and watch movies on the weekend instead of going to church. Not only will it not just work itself out in the end for the kids, but as a matter of fact you will have to stand before God one day for how you have raised the children God has entrusted to you. Part of that is raising them in a church family. Psalm 92:24-14 says, "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green." How will our children thrive spiritually if they are not planted? If we expect them to bear fruit in old age, we have to plant them now.

I encourage Moms and Dads everywhere to model faithfulness for their children. It's not about a ritual, it's about relationship, and the fact is that true believers in relationship with Jesus make time to connect with other believers, worship together in His house and serve. (Hebrews 10:25) You will never be sorry for setting the example and serving as a family. Serving parents produce serving kids!