Once I had my first child, I immediately began planning her life. How would I discipline? Where will she go to school? When will she get her first phone? Can I be her best friend? So many thoughts ran through my head and as I began relaying all the plans I had for her to my husband, he brought me back to reality and said, “Stop”.
I couldn’t possibly know who she would become years from now, or where life would take our family. I had to be okay with trusting that the Holy Spirit would guide me in making or not making decisions for my kids.
So, as I wait not-so-patiently for life to throw us curve-balls, I can only hope that my children will remember certain things along the way.
- Life is hard because sin exists.
You will most likely wonder why God allows such horrible things to happen to His children. I’m trying hard now and will continue trying to help you understand the existence of sin and how it has infected our world. I can tell you from experience, the devil loves it when people doubt the Lord and he strives to beat us down until we do. Always remember that God is good. Which brings us to number two.
- God loves you.
Never solely rely on a human being to make you feel loved. This is something I still struggle with and I hope you never have to. Your friends, your significant other, even your family will never be able to love you as the Father loves you. Always remember that – when someone has let you down and you feel alone, the Lord loves you and is always with you. He loves you even when you screw up. Which brings us to number three.
- You are not perfect and that’s okay.
Don’t ever think that I expect you to be perfect. I hope you always feel comfortable coming to me when you mess up. If you don’t, remember number two. Don’t try so hard to hide your flaws from the world. Everyone has them and yours can be used to bring people to the Lord.
- Church and studying scripture is important.
The world will try to make you think that this is a dying practice. It is not and it is extremely crucial that you make it a top priority in your life. Going to church regularly will bless you in so many ways; friendship, knowledge, peace. You will need these things in your journey on the narrow path. Also, if you’re reading the Bible and are having trouble understanding it, don’t stop. Your soul is soaking up more than you can tell right now.
- Be quiet.
It is beneficial to apply this in your relationship with people and your relationship with God. Sometimes it’s just better to hold your tongue. Not only can it prevent further altercation, it can allow you to give the Lord opportunity to speak to you. Don’t ever ignore Him.
- If you are given an opportunity to share the gospel, take it.
The Lord will place you directly in front of people (sometimes literally!) who desperately need Him. The Holy Spirit can do amazing things through you even if you feel incredibly inept. You could be the person God uses to save someone from eternal suffering. That is a huge deal!
- Learn to love the unlovable.
This is extremely difficult but also incredibly humbling. When you choose to show love to someone who seems so undeserving, you will have a whole new admiration for Jesus Christ and His amazing grace. Also, God tells us to do just this. So, you should probably do what He says.
- Being a Christian does not mean you are better than those who are not.
Society tries desperately to portray Christians as hateful to those who don’t believe what they do. Don’t be a Christian that falls into that category. To be a Christian, you have to first admit that you are a sinner by birth just like everyone else. Being a Christian does not give you the right to look down on those who aren’t. In fact, you are to do the opposite, because salvation isn’t based on our works, it is all grace. Just like in number seven, you are to love them just as Jesus did while He lived among sinners.
It gets so easy to take prayer for granted. You will probably get in the groove of praying a little like this; “Thank you for food and family, and a job, and a house, etc. Help me get over my cold. Amen”. These are all fine and dandy to pray for, but your life will be chock full of things that need prayer. Don’t be afraid to pray for big things. God can handle your requests and if He doesn’t answer the way you wanted, that doesn’t mean your request was too big. Instead, it just didn’t fit His plan. Also, prayer is not always about needs or thanksgiving, it is a time to listen for the Lord. I know, you can’t hear Him physically, but you will know when He is trying to tell you something. Prayer is how you and God get to know each other. It is where your relationship begins and ends. It is impossible to live for the Lord without it. Put into practice with number four.
- Never leave your mother.
Okay, okay, I’m not being serious. Or am I? I hope you know how much I love you and how extremely important it is that my days are filled with your smiles and conversation. I am perfectly fine with you having a life of your own, as long as it is within a ten mile radius from me. You are toddlers as I am writing this, so my opinion on this matter may change in the years to come. So, take all of these points seriously except for number ten.