You have probably seen something like this happen before. One child, the one who should know better, decides to blow air through her straw into her glass of milk. Bubbles are magically made. The younger child sees this and starts to do the same. If there are more children in the room, they all start this new and incredible activity. The raw power of creating bubbles cannot be denied. There is a brief moment where you wonder if this is what it sounds like inside of fish tanks.
Sure, you can put a stop to it, but you cannot un-teach it. They know it is fun now. The experience has captured them, and it will not let go. For the next few nights, at least, you will have to be on your guard. If you turn your back, you will hear milk bubbling.
Sure the offender who first created the bubbles is guilty of immaturity, guilty of breaking dinner table etiquette, and guilty of not drinking her milk (I am sure this is forbidden in the Bible somewhere.); but she is also guilty of leadership.One message we try to share in our house is that our children are leaders.
Obviously, they will grow in leadership from where they are now at their young age. It is possible to lead in good ways or in bad ways. They can lead without being aware of their leadership, or they can approach it more thoughtfully.
This is true for all. Each person has influence, and each person will have their example followed at one time or another. Leading happens at every level from those who are at the top and from those who are at the bottom. It is not possible to avoid leading.
To the Apostle Peter, our leadership is described as “priesthood.” “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) This position in the world does not come by any merit or worthiness. It is all by God’s great mercy for us that he has chosen us to be his people. His Holy Spirit turns us from priests of idolatry into priests of the living God. It is the same Spirit that continues to grow them in this blessed role.
How do we as parents cooperate with the Spirit’s work of raising the next generation of leaders as priests? Here are a few suggestions:
1) Know that this role of priests is carried into whatever career our children choose. (One can be a construction worker who is a leader who is a priest…a construction-worker-leader-priest ?) Rejoice over every role your children are in and remind them that they can bless others by doing what has been given them to do.
2) Be ready to offer prayer whenever the occasion arises. Become comfortable praying at the side of others so that your children will be comfortable with it as well.
3) Make listening to hymns and spiritual songs a part of the regular routine. These songs will soak in deep. They will be there as a comfort both to your children and to those around them in difficult times.
4) Memorize a bible verse a week. I admit that our family can be inconsistent here, but even being inconsistently consistent can add a treasure of verses to the memory if it is done throughout childhood.
5) Remind them in every possible way of their identity. They live under God’s great and deep love. His mercy for them is new every morning. They begin each day forgiven and new as a baptized child of God.
May we all raise leaders who will embody Psalm 89:1:
“I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations”
It is interesting how we look back through history to find the exact moment that something significant and world-changing happened. There is no clearer example of this than that fateful evening Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg.
God had been building these ideas in Luther for some time before this seminal moment.
Luther was going to become a lawyer, but he was literally thrown off course. He found himself in the middle of a life-threatening lightning storm in 1505. He prayed: “Help me St. Ann! I will become a monk!” He kept his word, and became a monk upon surviving the storm.
In 1510, he visited Rome and saw first-hand the corruption that had run rampant throughout the Catholic Church.
Afterwards, he lectured on books of the Bible as a professor at Wittenberg. He had made his way through Romans and Galatians where he said things like this:
A couple weeks ago, both of our daughters had trouble going to sleep. Tracie and I were watching Monday Night Football when they both came out and complained: “We can’t sleep.” (Insomnia is apparently contagious.) We had already sent them back to bed a few times that evening so we decided to have them lay down in the living room while we watched football.
They were both awake as the game was just beginning. Sometime before or after the national anthem there was a moment of silence for the victims of the massacre in Las Vegas. Tracie and I both looked at each and waited for the inevitable question to be asked. There was a tense silence for a few minutes.
And … nothing happened. Whew!Neither of us were ready at that moment to answer questions about the nature of life and death from a pair of frightened and confused children.
Last night was a bit scary. We felt our house shake a couple times as the wind ripped through North Georgia! Things seemed to have calmed down, but there are many places without power. This means that many places are closed- especially school!
Today I am working from home. I don’t mean to brag, but we are fortunate to have both power and WiFi. Maybe you are at home today too, and if you are, this is a great opportunity to spend time with the kids! Below I want to offer some thoughts on how to take advantage of this break from the routine, and spend some time with family in prayer and devotion. Perhaps, God gives us these interruptions so that we can do just that.
1) Read God’s Covenant with Noah in Genesis 9:1-17 (You can look over Genesis 6-8 for background) and Jesus Walking on Water in Mark 6:45-52 together. Depending upon your children’s age you can read these stories from either a children’s bible or a normal bible. This is a great time to talk about how even in the midst of a terrifying storm like the one we just had; God does not forget his promises or his people.
2) Spend some time in prayer giving thanks for the many who were kept safe. Also, pray for anything else that might be going on in school or other activities.
3) Have your children draw their favorite bible story or act out everyone’s favorite story together as a family.
4) Rest. No explanation needed here.
5) Play! Break out the play-do, Legos, board games, cards, watercolor, etc.
What ideas do you have for an unexpected day with your kids? Comment below!
God’s blessings on this wonderful-unusual day. I pray that you and your family grow together in faith and love for Christ today and every day.
P. S. It is not too late to join Tracie and I in our 7-Day devotional challenge! Today is day three. Check it out here!https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/4157-parenting-under-pressure