(Jace is learning to jump and exercise with the assistance of his sister, Annabelle.)
While growing into the role of a father, I spend intentional time in prayer and often think about the life lessons that I hope to teach my children. There are relevant Bible verses listed that support these seven intentional lessons listed below.
1.) First, every person’s life is important. Jesus loves every individual in the world. Therefore, no person’s life is more important than another person’s life.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8 (NIV)
2.) Second, if you do not know the answer to a question or concern, then ask someone who knows the answer you seek. For instance, if you seek information about economics, then ask an educated economist. If you want to personally learn about economics, then maybe take a college-level course on this topic. Ignorance typically exists when a person lacks knowledge of a subject but sometimes still claims to possess knowledge on said topic.
“For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” -Proverbs 11:14 (NIV)
“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” -Proverbs 19:20 (NIV)
3.) Third, follow and emulate leaders who serve others and look out for the interests of those under their leadership. This observation is simple to evaluate by asking this one question-Does a person make decisions for self-gains or for the benefit of others?
“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.’”
-Mark 9:35 (NIV)
“‘Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’”
-Mark 10:43-45 (NIV)
4.) Fourth, your nonverbal communication reveals what your priorities are at the moment these gestures occur. For instance, if you attend a funeral, do not constantly look at the watch on your wrist or your cell phone screen. Stay present. Stay respectful. And honor the person's life that is being celebrated.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” -2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
“While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ And immediately the leprosy left him.” -Luke 5:12-13 (NIV)
5.) Fifth, listen and think before you speak (if you choose to talk at all in a decisive moment). If unknowledgeable on a topic, it is okay to follow up at a later point. Suppose a person expresses a belief or a statement unfamiliar to you. In that case, it might be better to wait for you to critique another person's opinion, so you can think about a response and maybe do some research.
“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” -Proverbs 17:28 (NIV)
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” -James 1:19-20 (NIV)
6.) Sixth, question what other people claim as truth. The Bible is God’s Holy Word. As Christians, this text represents fundamental truths for those who believe in these words. The media will perpetuate depicted opinions as absolute truth, which in reality is sometimes anything but the truth. When television ratings drive a news story (an agenda other than just news), it is best to challenge the supposed facts presented and make up your own mind on what is true.
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” -John 16:13 (NIV)
“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” -Psalm 25:5 (NIV)
7.) Finally, you have a soul that necessitates intentional self-care. And God loves you more than you can imagine! If you believe this specific truth, then rest and care for your soul when needed. This means to stop, smell the roses, and maybe take a nap.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” -Ephesians 3:16-19
To Annabelle and Jace, I desire for you to grow up with wisdom beyond your age. As a college student, I tended to be a little naïve as an adult in my mid-twenties. Some leaders in today's society are lost. These individuals have never sought the wisdom of others. In fact, they may have never read one leadership book for purposes of self-critique.
Conversely, some individuals in supervisory roles need to be more active. You cannot depend on them and must look out for yourself in these rare scenarios. Some individuals are in leadership roles that should never have been given the privilege to have these opportunities. In some frustrating situations, the best you can do is control what you can control and move on in the best ways you know possible. I hope one day you will read these personal lessons and apply them in situations where guidance resolves encountered challenges.
Here are some of the latest, greatest, and cutest pictures of my favorite two kids in the whole world. I hope these life lessons eventually catch on with my favorite tiny humans.
(Annabelle went on a safari with Jesus in Sunday School at church!)
(We try to spend as much time outside as possible.)
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