During a spring storm an old tree near our house was struck by lightning. A large branch fell and the city decided to cut the entire tree down. My wife saw part of the tree stump on the side of the road and decided it would make an interesting decorative piece. She told me that my job was to carve a Bible verse into the wood. I choose Joshua 22:5 because it sums up the aim of the Christian life so well. It says, “Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, be faithful to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.” As I spent hours engraving the verse with my Dremel tool I reflected on how an old stump was being transformed from trash to treasure. My wife focused not on what was, but on what might be. This was a picture of what God has done for each of us. I love that God is a master at transforming our junk. As parents we make many mistakes, and so do our children. In God’s world mistakes don’t mean rejection, but are opportunities for redemption.
As summer begins, the good news and the bad news is you will get to spend extended time with your family. This means that your family will have a front row seat to your mistakes. One of the most powerful life lessons you can give your children is modeling how to deal with failure. A very wise person encourages us in Proverbs 24:16, “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.” Be quick to acknowledge your mistakes and sincerely apologize. Your pride may be hurt for a moment, but your authenticity will be built up. Our job as parents is to engrave God’s truths into our kid’s hearts. This doesn’t just mean to read the Bible to our kids, but to live out what it says in front of them. The good news is we can honor God when we succeed and when we fail.
Enjoy this summer with your children…they will never be this age again.