FROM THE HEART OF AN OLDER WOMAN
A couple of weeks ago we had Waldo come home from college for the holidays. It was Sunday morning and Waldo never showed up for Bible class or worship service. His parents were asking, “Where’s Waldo?” They got home to find Waldo visiting with old high school friends. After the friends left, Waldo’s mother asked him if he attended services while at college and he responded with, “When I can”.
Last week I gave some practical pointers on how to make sure you are never wondering, “Where’s Waldo?” I thought this week we would continue along those same lines with more practical advice taken from the example of Waldo and his parents.
I have never asked/told my children to go to services while they were living in my house.
We raised our children going to all services of the church so it was never questioned. I had a mother tell me once that she really had a hard time getting her 11-year-old boy to get up for services because he didn’t want to go. She asked me what to do because I had an 11-year-old boy at that time. I was baffled! We had never had that problem; our children were excited to go to services. I covered this pretty well last week, but I wanted to put out there the importance of showing them faithful attendance starting when they are little.
Be in charge of whom your children are spending time with.
“Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33). You are raising soldiers for the cross so you want to train them to be around worldly people, but be in charge of those situations. Ours was the yard that the neighborhood kids gathered in. I never cared how many kids were playing there as long as they played nicely and they all knew the rules. I wanted to be in charge of what was going on with my children. Make sure you are nurturing the relationships that your children have with other children in the church. These can be lifetime friendships. But beware if as your child hits middle school and high school age and most of their friends are not from Christian homes. They WILL be influenced! Again, encourage friendships within the church. This is VERY important!!
Don’t allow your children to miss services or church activities!
Just don’t ever start it. But…I covered this last week. This will help keep you from ever asking, “Where’s Waldo?”
Ask yourself, “Am I raising soldiers for the cross? Am I equipping my children to be in the world but not of the world?”
Waldo went out into the world and it sounds like he forgot to put his armor on. We know that as Christians we are to put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). Now put that armor on your children and show them how to win souls. We do not win souls by isolating our children from the world. We MUST prepare them to go out into the world! Was there anything wrong with Waldo talking to old high school friends? Not at all. But who had the stronger influence? Was Waldo using those relationships to bring his friends to Christ? It doesn’t seem so because he was allowing them to influence him in a way that didn’t bring glory to God. You are raising your children to go out into the world—don’t forget that—but raise them to know “why” they are going: to win souls and bring glory to God.
Waldo was a soldier that got entangled in the affairs of every day life (2 Timothy 2:4).
You must teach your children how to be soldiers that remember to please the one that enlisted them. Waldo probably learned that form of “soldier life” from his parents. Again, I covered “putting God first” last week, but it must be repeated. BE A SPIRITUAL THINKER! This life is but a vapor. It doesn’t matter if your child is the fastest or the smartest or the most coordinated. Does your child, in the life that they live, bring glory to God in all that they do? Do you?
If you start now, no matter the age of your children, putting God first, you will be blessed. Your children will watch and you can show them that you are a soldier for the cross and Jesus is the one that enlisted you. Teach them by your life so that one day you don’t turn and ask, “Where’s Waldo?”
By Tami Roberts
Tami and her husband, Wayne, serve with the Parker church of Christ* in Parker, CO. Wayne serves as the minister and evangelist. Tami and Wayne are both instructors for the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. They have been married for almost 30 years, have five children and three grandchildren. More than anything, they enjoy spending time with God’s people.
* Editor’s note: There are some excellent podcasts available on the Parker church of Christ site. Be sure to download a few and listen (click here).