Friday, May 25, 2007

Impress them on your children.

Talk about your surreal experiences! Linda and I recently graduated our middle daughter from the University of Central Missouri. We are so incredibly proud of both she and her husband! We noticed when they announced her name the announcer didn’t get it quite right. They announced her as, Katie Paddock Coomlawdy. It seemed she had several relatives that day. Then it dawned on me that what they meant to say was, Cum laude. We wuz proud!

Katie and John are such quality kids. I know I suffer (as most parents do) from a case of the brags. But, please allow me to do so; I won’t make it too long. In talking with one of John’s Air Force supervisors, he told me he wished he could have a hundred John Paddocks. Then there’s our Katie, the Tech/worship director of their church in Missouri said similar words of her! I have to confess, my head swelled a little. God is unfolding His wonderful, exciting plan for their lives, and it’s fun and fulfilling to watch.

I believe most parents have a tendency to want to take at least some credit for our children’s successes. (present company included) But, I know that it is really by God’s grace that it goes the way it does. His everlasting love and tender mercy are where total credit goes. All we can do as parents is love them hard, point them in the right direction to the best of our ability and obedience, and pray for them.

As I’ve been musing about this experience, I thought of one of my favorite scriptures. Once again, it comes from Deut. 6:4-9. I especially love the first part of the verses know as the sh’ma, but when I went to my bible to look at this passage, I noticed something I hadn’t notice in a while. I have these verses highlighted so they will stand out, but something jumped out at me this time. I had on some previous occasion circled and set apart the word “impress” at the beginning of verse 7. The first part of this section tells us to love God with our whole being. The second half admonishes us to teach this to our kids. “Impress” it on them. Live your faith out loud, breath, eat, pray, play, do it all in that context. Give all you’ve got for God! I will be quick to confess that we haven’t lived it out all the time. I’ve had moments where I know I have failed miserably as a parent. But, God seems to apply His wonderful grace and mercy to all those failures too. It makes sense to me that when you read and study God’s word, you come to know it better; it will change your life. It is an encounter with God and we should come away changed in some way. Over time in that growing relationship, you come to understand His grace, mercy, and love better. It would also appear to me that we should come to be examples of His love, grace and mercy, if we indeed love Him with our all. As we grow in faith, it is taught and learned, and the cycle continues, for generations. It really is all about Him!

So, thank you Lord for our children. They are the most incredible of earthly blessings, and we love them and cherish them!

By the way, have I talked to you about our daughters Laurie and Stephanie?

Well, I’ll save that for another time!

1 comment:

Paula, Bobby, Rebekah, and Sarah said...

Mr. Mathews,
This is Paula (Helwig) Fannin. I roomed with Laurie for 1.5 years at IWU. How is she doing? Things are good here in Kentucky. Bobby and I now have 2 daughters, Rebekah 2.5 and Sarah 10 weeks. Bobby is still plugging away at his MDiv at Asbury Seminary and I am teaching MIddle School Chorus. Say hi to Laurie for us!!