Thursday, January 03, 2008

Helping your kids to their rewards...

When I was up at Kitwe visiting the CT Scan clinic and meeting the missionary family that we stayed with, I took something away from our conversation that changed how I acted last night. I was asking Bob Walker how he ended up in the mission field. He said that the confirmation came in a letter from his brother. In this letter contained $600 dollars from his brother's 11 year old daughter. It was at a crucial time when the only thing keeping Bob and his family from the mission field was his reluctance to be willing to ask people for money. The thing that stood out to me was that this letter was an apology. His brother was apologizing for not allowing his daughter to give what she felt the Lord had wanted her to give. She had been earning money to buy a horse and had felt like God was leading her to give the money to his uncle and aunt and all her cousins as they were beginning to raise money for Africa. Well, the father, like all of us acted like we all would, in that he tried to talk his daughter out of it... And after a couple of weeks, the daughter still wanted to give the money. Finally, the father let her and in that letter he apologized to his brother, Bob Walker, for standing in the way of her doing what God wanted her to do. (As the story turns out, this gal was given an amazing horse later by a generous woman. A pretty incredible story all around.) But, the point of me telling this story is last night as we were going to give the family the dinner, Bradyn wanted to give to this neighbor girl her favorite purse. I mean, favorite purse, like she doesn't go anywhere without this purse. Well, I at first resisted, and then remembered this story. In all reality, I want my daughter to grow up generous and selfless... So, I was like, "Uh, O.K." Well, as the evening unfolded, it was too late to go over, but the next day, she saw the girl and gave her the purse. She came back floating and happy. It is more blessed to give than to receive, someone famous once said. I was thinking about what Jesus wrote about storing up your treasures in Heaven and I was thinking about how we as parents should be about helping our kids start not only storing up treasures in Heaven, but also creating habits for them at an early age. But, it is just as important for them to see modeled for them what it means to have a citizenship in a another country, to be about eternal things and to see what living beyond this earth is all about. If Heaven is the best 401k around, should we not be investing in our children's future as well as our own? I am not sure how to go about that, but I am thinking it is more than just pulling out 10% of their money. I mean that is a good start, but, it is allowing kids to be in a place where they see and interact with the poor, they see their money helping and changing lives and they develop a heart for the things that are eternal.

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