Today is my sister Ruth's 30th birthday!!!
I have known all week that today's blog would be dedicated to her and very much, inspired by her.
I wonder if you all think about the other people who will influence and shape your children's lives as much as I do.
Maybe it is because I was a school teacher and saw firsthand the strong influence teachers and peers can have on a kid.
Or maybe I'm not alone and, like me, you have all had that unnerving moment when you realize that your parent, protective bubble will eventually POP and no longer will you alone influence and shape your children's worldview and morality.
Waiting right outside our doors, awaits a world full of people who will play a large role in shaping our children.
When we are fortunate to find an individual who belongs in the "great" category our hearts rejoice and we scramble to provide as many opportunities for our children to glean from him/her.
In 1 Timothy 4:12 Paul is encouraging his young apprentice, Timothy, to be a good example to other believers. He challenges Timothy to "set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity."
Even Paul, the pastoral father of the early church, understood the importance of having "great" individuals influencing God's children.
That's my heart's cry and challenge for those individuals who step into my children's lives. My hope is that their example is "great" in that it exudes Christ and that my children carefully watch and then imitate their Christ-like behaviors.
For me and my children, Aunt Ruth falls into this "great" category.
My boys simply adore her.
Whatever she does, they imitate.
Whatever she says, they repeat.
Wherever she is, they would like to be.
Trust me, the leverage her name carries is extraordinary.
I can get them to do a lot of things by using Ruth as the reward.
If I was ever going to be worried that they might love someone more than me, she would be the one.
So I naturally have to consider what it is about Ruth that makes them adore and love her so.
Here are just a few reasons:
- She makes everything and every situation like TEN TIMES more fun. Her energy and zest for life is contagious. There are very few dull moments when she is around. Her mere presence makes my children smile and laugh.
- She showers them with creative stuff from extravagant Easter baskets, to the full cast of Sesame Street characters adorning their walls (plug for Cricut), to themed birthday parties decked out in the coolest decor. She doesn't just swipe her credit card...she takes time and energy to make them things that are sentimental and in-tune to their current hobbies and interests.
- She is their biggest cheerleader. She shows interest in their newest endeavors and praises their most recent accomplishments. Whatever they tell her is the greatest news she's ever heard. Whatever they give her is the best gift she's ever received. And whenever they are with her they are the best company a girl could ask for. She builds them up, up, up, and UP.
- She loves Jesus. She prays for them regularly. She reflects Christ to them through patience and genuine love. She encourages them to trust God. Her words and actions are aware and protective of their little eyes and what they see and their little ears and what they hear.
Her example to them in her speech, in her life, in her love, in her faith, and in her purity is EXACTLY what I desire for my children.
Is she perfect? No.
But I trust her with my children because she is a kind, God-fearing woman whose values align with Keith and mine.
You better believe I scramble for opportunities to have her with my children. There will be a lot of people vying for my children's attention and I'm happy to give Ruth as many moments as she'd like.
I pray there are and will be people in YOUR children's lives like my sister Ruth.
Happy Birthday dear sister! You have been a blessing to ME for 30 years and now to my precious children.
Join me today and pray the following:
Jesus, I must trust you with my children for I cannot protect them forever. I pray that you would bring more and more "great" individuals into their lives like _____________ who will set a Christ-like example to them in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity. I pray for wisdom in knowing who the "great" individuals are and who the "not so great" individuals are. I pray they would have a handfull of people in their lives whom genuinely have their best interest at heart and love them through Your eyes.
1 Timothy 4:12