Someone in my moms group recently asked, "if you could only teach your children one thing, what would it be?"
There were some great responses that I could identify with but none of them were all encompassing enough. Sure I would love for my kids to be happy, and confident, and self-sufficient, and to know Jesus but I want more than that for them.
What first popped into my head and what still is repeating in my head is the Golden Rule. Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. I want them to be kind to others just as they would want others to be kinds to them. I want them to be respectful of others just as they would want others to respect them. I want them to give others the benefit of the doubt, to show gentleness and patience. I want them to be helpful and considerate. I hope they are humble, grateful, and willing to serve those less fortunate. I want them to be loving and joyful and considerate.
As I list out all of the qualities I wish for them which I think fall into the Golden Rule it reminds me of the "Fruits of the Spirit". Galatians 5:22-23 tells us "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." These are the qualities I wish for my children. I pray nightly for my children to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I know that I can't force the qualities on my children I can only pray that the Holy Spirit fills them with these qualities, and I know that if they are filled with these qualities then by default they will treat others the way they would want to be treated.
Some key scriptures that I pray they will learn, understand and exhibit:
Matthew 25:40 ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ~ Serve the less fortunate. Honor all people. Don't judge a book by its cover. Remember that all people were made in the image of God and are valued. It is what you do when no one is watching that is the true measure of your intentions.
Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. ~ Do your best in everything you do. Do everything as if God, your friends, you mother, your Grandmother were watching. If you wouldn't act that way to your teacher, principal, Pastor Lance, don't act they way to me, your father, or your siblings.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. ~ If you don't know what is right or what to do, pray about it. Think back on your Bible teachings. What would Jesus do?
1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. ~ Be in the world but not of the world. Walk the narrow path to Jesus, salvation, everlasting life, don't be caught up in the world and it (lack of) values. Don't follow the broad road that leads to sin and damnation.
Sometimes it is overwhelming to wonder how I am going to raise these four precious children that God has entrusted to my care. When I think it is too much I remember: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13