Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Investing Our Children

I was recently reading the Scripture passage in Matthew 25 about the man that gave talents to his servants. I've often heard this related to talents as in gifts that God has given us. I started thinking about it in relationship to some of the most precious gifts of all--our children.

God has given many of us children, some one, some two and some five PLUS! He is also not here bodily to help us raise them. He has passed that responsibility on to us.

I try my best to learn from others' mistakes instead of making them all myself! I've seen the two attitudes expressed by the servants in parents when raising their children. There are a lot of factors in raising children, and I know that not all children who decide not to serve the Lord do it because of bad parenting. However, it seems like the parents who are most successful invest their children into the work of the Lord. They teach them to be others-oriented rather than selfish and they, as a family, serve the Lord together. This is what the first two servants did with their talents--they invested them and God gave them fruit.

The sad thing is that many parents let fear control them like the unprofitable servant did. They don't just shelter their children until the time they are able to be released into the world, but they smother them and bury them. There is no thinking of others or the Lord's work because others might "contaminate" them. They "hide them under a mattress" so to speak. Of course, they are not ready to work for the Lord when/if they are on their own. They've never seen it in action.

The master in the parable wasn't upset because the servant had lost his talent. He was upset because it wasn't invested and multiplied. God wants us to do more than just "keep our kids in church". I don't believe God wants us to fear. He wants us to trust Him as the Giver of our children to help us parent His children. This is so much harder to do in practice than in theory. May God help me to invest my children back into His work without fear! Oh, how I want my testimony, as insignificant as it seems, to be carried on for generations by my children and my children's children.

What are your practical ideas for investing your children into the Lord's work?


  1. I don't have any children so my thoughts may be moot on this subject. However, I wanted to share what I see and find refreshing about other families. Using personal time to serve others. Whether they homeschool or are enrolled in public school, all kids probably have a "summer break". Why not use some of that break to serve others through missionary work? It could be in a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter here within our borders, or it could be in another country, spreading the Gospel of Jesus and taking supplies to permanent missionaries. I recently saw an episode of "17 Kids and Counting" where the father actually took his older children to a South American country to help other missionaries, and thought, "Wow, he cares so much to teach his kids what service is that he would drag them to another country" and the children were reminded what it means to be a worker for the Lord. I imagine that experience would plant seeds we can only think of now.

  2. That's a beautiful way to minister with our children, Mrshester! All of us might not have an opportunity to go to another country, but who knows what we can do in our own communities?

  3. I really enjoyed your post today. Raleigh and I have been discussing how to integrate our kids a little more into the community. We have decided, once they get old enough that we would like to volunteer at the local Soup Kitchen as a family. I've volunteered before and really enjoyed it. I want my kids to see that God loves everyone, no matter, their size, shape or color. As far as fear goes,I'm still debating between homeschooling, private school, or public school. I just have to remember that they are God's children and I have to trust him to help me make the right choices as a parent to them. But, I still am scared of making the wrong choice that will have a negative impact on them the rest of their life. THis is something that I"m working on.

  4. My husband and I have been discussing this very thing. Even our Sunday School class has been discussing this. One way that we feel led is to start serving together as a family at a local soup kitchen. Also another way to serve in our local community in making scarfs, hats and afghans and quilts to give out to the less fortunate and homeless. Have our family pray for all and for God to show us other areas we can help.

    Our Sunday School class is also starting to take collections up for us to be able to provide a full course meal at a local soup kitchen here. And what is left of our collections to pray that God show us where to use it.

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  6. I could be wrong, but this is how I feel. I feel that many parents have no real intention of letting their kids go, the mere fact that they are homeschooled proves this point. If you cannot allow your child to integrate with other children and get a decent education at the same time, will you ever release your child? You're holding unto almost every second of their lives by keeping them suffocated in your home just so that you can enjoy their funny moments when teaching them and so you can be the one to say I taught them this and I taught them that.

    I feel that many parents won't release their children when they are older. I've read on other blogs where parents are planning to choose who their children date, how they date they other person and they are already deciding their children will not work, it sounds like you're all raising your children to be like the children in the book Flowers in the Atic. Will they ever be able to lead normal lives and integrate in the community? There is more to integration than feeding the poor.

  7. Jade,
    There's no need to worry about any more than one year at a time. If you decide to do something the first year of school and it doesn't work, you can always change the next year.

    Those are great ideas, Home Grown Academy!

    You have never seen homeschoolers in action. Homeschooled children integrate with ALL age groups REGULARLY--not just their peers in a classroom where they don't even get to interact except at recess time. The big joke among homeschool moms is we are rarely home because we do so much more with our kids. Just this month my daughter had a field trip with a group of homeschool kids, a class at the zoo with another group of homeschool kids and an art class at the library with another group of homeschoolers in addition to the regular schoolwork.

  8. I agree with mrs hester. I think a wonderful way to get your kids interested in the Lord's work is to have them do it with you!! It could be anything from praying for the grocery store worker you just met, taking treats to the neighbors, visiting a nursing home, or taking a missions trip together.
    And, I agree with you Lady Jen, most of the homeschoolers I have encountered are very integrated, it just looks different than the classroom setting. Most of us homeschool, not because we can't let our kids go, but for many other reasons, one of which would be to have an even greater impact on society in the future, not to keep them home and suffocated.

  9. Thank you, Joy! I know it made a big impact on my daughter when we witnessed to a cashier at a small shop. She still asks to pray for her every night.

  10. What a wonderfully written and timely post, Lady Jen! I've been told before that my plans for our children are too sheltering, but I don't see any harm in homeschooling, giving our kids quality experiences and being available to guide them lovingly. A toddler needs her parents to guide her with making good decisions about sharing and being polite, a teenager needs her parents to help her make decisions about friendships and what to do after high school, and a grown child needs her parents to guide her in encouragement when it comes to child-raising and marriage. An adult doesn't need the same amount of teaching and guidance as a two year old, so parenting by Christian values isn't about sheltering - it's about being there to guide as Christ would do. He brings us to Him, feeding us milk at first, but then moving onto food - the Bread of Life - when milk simply isn't enough. I think that it's the same way with children. I praise God that I've been given the wonderful blessing to parent my two lovelly daughters (and more children if God wills it). I look forward to homeschooling (and I'm a former teacher, private and public so I've seen both sides) and I enjoy being a SAHM and family-devoted. Sheltering? That's a tent when you're camping, not applicable to wisely and lovingly guiding your child according to the season of her life. :o)

    Again, great post! Enjoy your weekend, mama!

  11. Kelly,
    Thank you for those great thoughts. I appreciate hearing from a former teacher who validates homeschooling. There are a few homeschooling families that cloister their children, but I think homeschooling for the most part sets us free to enjoy real learning.