3 back to school challenges rooted in the verse, Proverbs 22:6. Children don’t come with a standard instruction manual, we know this as moms, but God has called us to love and embrace their differences. Yes, we train them to thrive in school life, but more importantly, in living a life for JESUS!
Moms, whatever no matter your path for schooling looks like, I think we can all agree on this…
We want our children to be champions, to experience success—whatever that looks like for them. Even if your children aren’t champion readers, mathematicians or sports players, you and I know that the best kind of champion is a champion for Jesus!
So, “If you want to raise such champions, you need to feed them the breakfast of champions—the BIBLE!”From the A FUTURE FOR THE FAMILY Bible study, from my hosting ministry Love Worth Finding.
Now, When it comes to breakfast with kids…
I don’t know how it is at your house, but most days, unless its like a special holiday or weekend brunch thing, breakfast at our house looks different for everyone…
One of my kids will wants a smoothie and the other wants eggs or cereal, etc…you get the idea…It’s always different, especially on church or school mornings, when things are always a little crazier because we are rushing, trying to get somewhere!
The truth is though, and I’m sure you can identify with this, that each of our kids have different preferences….this is not only true about breakfast, but really, it’s true about a lot of things…
And we know as moms, that children don’t come with a standard instruction manual! Amen?!
Every child has a different combination of genes, talents, likes and dislikes: some like being at home, while others are social butterflies, some are leaders and some are followers. If you could describe each of your kids in five words, you would probably use ALL different words….I know I would…and this is because God has designed them all differently!
So here is my back to school challenge for you today:
I will break it down into 3 challenge, but it all stems from this one verse: Proverbs 22:6 —“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
- So the first challenge is: As you are “training” your child like Proverbs 22:6 says, realize that there are no 2 children alike. So as your kids are starting back to school, remember that and don’t stress out about it—just embrace it and help them embrace it! So If they are better at math than English…or better at art than PE…that’s awesome!
- Let them know it’s OKAY not to be good at everything…in fact it’s impossible to be good at everything. Perfection is impossible. Living a life without sin or shortcomings is impossible too. Share this with them, so they can just take a breath and know that you don’t expect perfection and neither does the Lord…
- However, we do want them to try their best and have high integrity when nobody is watching…But I do not expect my boys to be good at all the same things, to respond to discipline or affirmation in the same way, or to like everything that they learn in school. I don’t want them to feel like they are letting me down because of one bad grade or because they didn’t make the honors club or make the team or whatever it may be with your crew….
2. Leading me to the next challenge: We are ALL, adults included, more nervous when something new starts. So as the school year starts with new material, a new teacher, new friends, etc. — One thing is for sure — our kids ALL need an extra dose of LOVE and affirmation!
And this where wisdom and discernment come into play, because every child needs it in different ways…
- You may realize, hey, this ____(fill in the blank), whatever it is, is not working for this child, so I need to change it up…
- It may be a change in the way you discipline, a change in the way they are learning…maybe one needs to be in school and another learns better at home…or one has a learning disability that needs addressing and another doesn’t. It may be one needs more social outlets, like being in a school club or on a team. Whatever it may be is all OKAY, because, they aren’t supposed to be the same. We should celebrate their differences in how God made them!
- And the same goes for their Spiritual growth too: One may have a tender heart from day one and come to know the Lord early, while another may not. One might be more artistic and love worship music and Scripture coloring books and never question the Bible, while the other is very curious and they challenge you on questions about God and the Bible ALL the time, because God has given them a more curious, intellectual mind for learning…
- I challenge you to find some of the things that really make your kids tick individually, and then tell them…I see this in you __________, (fill in the blank..whatever it is) and I’m so glad that you’re mine and God made you that way for a purpose…Because the ways they are different, will ultimately reveal their Spiritual gifts and who God has made them to be!
- A few examples of this might be: I see that you are a leader with your siblings and in the classroom, so I know the Lord wants to use that to lead others to him…Or your teacher told me you are a good helper at school, that makes mommy so proud, because God loves a servant hearted person…Or I love how you really observe others and see things others don’t, so God has gifted you to be sensitive to the needs of others…Or how you are very curious and love to learn so you ask lots of questions, and God will use your mind to do some great things!
- God has made them the way they are for a reason moms…so let’s learn to embrace it…whether it’s in school work, friendships, sports, learning Spiritual disciplines or whatever it may be….
- No two children are the same or can be trained the same….but they ALL need LOVE and affirmation! So find ways to tell them individually the things that you love about how God made them as they go back to school and need an extra boost of confidence to start a new year!
3. Last challenge: As you are training and teaching your kids individually, and you are embracing their differences with love and affirmation, remember this: You will never be able to force Jesus on your kids….they won’t believe it or live, just because you do…they won’t crave to live justly and love God’s Word, because you told them too.
My dad is a football coach, and he says, you can’t teach kids to love the game and know how to tackle from reading a book or telling them…You have to show them and let them play the game…show them how to tackle…let them run the plays…let them make mistakes and learn from them…that’s how they learn to love the game…
The same is true for you and me moms!
As this school year begins, make sure you are where you need to be with Jesus, that you are in His Word and living it out, then it will be a natural overflow from you into your children.
Adrian Rogers said: “You can’t get someone else excited about something that makes you yawn” and “Your kids can spot a phony from a mile away..”Adrian Rogers
Don’t just tell them to love Jesus or train them to go to church or pray at night before bed….live it out for them! Get excited about God’s Word! It must be in your heart before you can ever expect it to be put in your Child’s heart!
This way we can grow in discernment and wisdom from His word, to recognize what our kids need or don’t need, as we train them up uniquely to how God made them!
I will close with this:
I have heard many moms that have come before me say, “Well I raised all my kids in church and did the same things with all of them, so I just don’t understand why one child went astray and the others didn’t?”
And they reference the verse, Proverbs 22:6, that we have talked about today, like it’s a Spiritual passcode or promise that they trained them all the same way, so it must mean they will come back to God eventually…
But I’m just going to tell you honestly, that Proverbs are not promises…they are words of wisdom, and when you hear someone say that, if you haven’t already, they are wrong.
That child might never come back to the Lord or maybe they will…only God knows that…
But one thing I do know for sure, is that God made each of our children uniquely and gave them to us as gifts, but we need His help and wisdom to recognize those differences and learn how to love them and affirm them and teach them God’s Word according to them individually.
And yes, it’s a lot more work that we can’t raise our kids on a Spiritual cookie cutter plan, but it’s work that is worth doing! Training up each child up individually, so that like it says in the second part of that verse, when they are old, they will not depart from it!
This is a huge calling moms and a great challenge as a new year of school starts back up!
Don’t forget to check out the Future for the Family Bible study from LWF and the Free Proverbs Bible study on our homepage. Follow me on Instagram @faithful31moms. Thanks for reading and remember to keep up the good work of pointing your kids to Jesus!