First Baptist Church, Mound City

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Raising Kids to Take the Land

     The house I grew up in presented an interesting dilemma to any boy on a bicycle. Turning left from the driveway meant a great downhill ride, while the right turn led to an uphill climb. One direction had the immediate payoff and then came the hard work. The other direction offered the hard work first, followed by the payoff. My father arrived from work by way of the bottom of the hill. It was often hoped he would arrive at just the time the uphill climb became necessary. But it was not to be.

     Many parents want life for their children to be easier than they had it when they were young. They want everything to be downhill for their children. And each time their child faces some difficult uphill climb they are there with the car to give them a ride… to ease their way. It seems that is what a good parent would do.

     Consider the long run here. What does a boy or girl know of life if they have only downhill rides? How much of life is downhill? And how much of life is uphill, striving, stretching… hard?

     Let me be frank. The parents who spend all their effort creating only downhill rides for their children will create immature, soft children, with no stamina for real life. In addition, their crippled child will need periodic help through any difficulty well into adulthood.

     Here is to letting your kids ride uphill. The stamina and grit they develop will carry them to productive, responsible adult lives. We don't need anymore passive victims in our world. We need people with initiative, who are making things happen, those who are taking the land.

     I am reading through an excellent book The Disciple-Making Parent and came to a chapter with the title we used for this article – “Raising Your Children to Take the Land”. The author, Chap Bettis, pointed out that in the early chapters of the book of Judges God explains that enemies are still in the land. Here is the specific text:

      “Now these are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel by them, that is, all who had not known any of the wars in Canaan. This was only so that generations of the children of Israel might be taught to know war, at least those who had not formerly know it. And they were left that He might test Israel by them, to know whether they would obey the commandments of the Lord, which He had commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”    Judges 3:1-2,4

Don’t take all the obstacles out of the way. The fight to overcome obstacles is what builds character, grit, and perseverance. Those will be children who grow to “take the land”.