When I pulled into Target the other day to pick-up some storage bins, I was shocked by how busy it was. It didn't take me long after walking in to realize why. The big back to school push is in full swing. The store was crammed with parents and kids shopping together and checking off school supply lists. Suddenly I felt the urge to buy our son a backpack and stuff it full of crisp new school supplies, unsharpened pencils and a lunch box.
In America there is nothing more important than our children's education. We are a society that loves school, aren't we? We all want our children to grow up to be smart; to get a good education so that they can get a good job, so they can be financially secure.
The truth is there is something way more critical for your child's life than whether or not they make good grades, play sports or go to college.
Our real wisdom doesn't come from a text-book or a teacher, it comes from God and we find it in his Word.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. - Proverbs 1:7
Can you imagine if we as Christian parents poured as much time, thought and energy into teaching our children to be disciples of Jesus? In fact, when Jesus choose his twelve disciples, he wasn't looking for the most educated and successful men of that time.
"When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." Acts 4:13
As parents we need to remember that our top priority is not to make sure that our children have earthly success (not saying that is bad in and of itself). Our top priority is teaching and modeling to our children what it means to be Christians - Christ followers. People who know that Jesus is EVERYTHING; here in this life, and in eternity.
- People who live their lives not for earthly success, but with abandon for others.
- People who aren't afraid to give away their wealth, because they know the riches of heaven will far surpass anything they will find on earth.
- People who are willing to give their health, safety and very lives for the sick, hurting and dying. (Samaritan's Purse Dr. who contracted Ebola in grave condition)
- People who are so overwhelmed with God's love that they aren't afraid to share Jesus with the neighbor next door, the coworker a desk over, the felon in prison or the unreached people all over the world.
We don't have to stop caring about our children's education. However, let's go back-to-school this year with renewed vigor, focusing less on what the world says is important and focusing more on teaching our children what is truly invaluable. Let's pray for the perseverance to open up the Bible with them DAILY. Let's pray for the courage to model what it looks like to share the gospel message with our neighbors. Let's let our children see us open up our wallets and our homes for people who are in need. Let's ask God to help us become families that live for something greater than a good education, comfortable career and a big house.
Honestly, as I look at my little ones as I tuck them into bed, I don't care what level of education they achieve, what future career they have or where they live. My only fervent prayer for them each night is that their hearts are secured by their Creator; that their love for him far surpasses any earthly distraction and that there is nothing they won't give, not even their very lives, for the name of Jesus Christ.
Now that is success.