We live a blessed life don’t we? We can drive to the grocery store or order things online at the click a button and they come. Goods and services are delivered quick, if not instantaneously. My son thinks he can have everything he sees? Why wouldn’t he? The media, our culture and this world entice the greed. Here’s the rub. The greatest things in life don’t come in a box, bag or bundle. The greatest things in life aren’t five-senses things at all. Can you put hope in a test tube and measure it? What about an ounce of love? Integrity? Accountability? Stewardship? Courage? Confidence?
So how do I teach my son as he grows up about the greatest things in life?
Let’s look at how God taught David.
Picture the battle field. Goliath (HUGE) standing with the Philistines (ARROGANT) on one side. David (little) who stood with the Israelites (scared) on the other. It was an uneven match! Except David came ready. Here’s what little David said to Saul.
“And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:32
Saul was shocked!
“And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou [art but] a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.” vs. 33
How could David have that kind of confidence against an armed and trained man of war. He knew what that meant, his brothers were soldiers. How did God give him the confidence to say that?
“And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered [it] out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught [him] by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.”
These were huge victories for David! How did he have these victories? It started when his father made him responsible for their sheep which was also their lively hood. David cared for them day and night. He sang to them, fellowshipped with God about them. He was there when they gave birth, nursed them back to health when they were sick, found them when they went missing, and mourned them when they died. Those sheep were his responsibility. His father taught him how to protect them and then made him do it. Did David do it perfectly all the time? Probably not, at first. Every skill takes practice. Little victories build on more little victories then before long the big victories are no big deal. Confidence, its astounding isn’t it. Eventually David protected the “sheep” of Israel for God and as we see later in this chapter he was just as protective.
How does this help my son? If my son wants everything he sees, then why not use the five-senses things to build the greatest things in life like confidence, trust, and love.
How? Incentives, earning rewards and receiving recognition for a job well done. That’s how God does it. Look at this verse.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3
Why would we honor and obey our parents in the Lord? (“In the Lord” is an interesting direction for the parents) So that it may be well with you and you will live long on the earth. Why? Because foolishness is bound in the heart of a child and they need their parents direction to keep them alive the first 16 to 20ish years. I say 20ish because kids these days are looking younger and younger. Why? Maybe I’m just getting too old. Lol! Anyway, my point is; the condition is there and so are the incentives and the rewards. God does that everywhere and He is the best parent ever.
God bless you today!