Thursday, July 22, 2010

Raising Up My Kids

I love it when God gives me a peek into my children’s spiritual walks.

While on Mission Navajo during spring break, my friend, spunky, sweet, redheaded Lindsey, prepared a beautiful devotion about thankfulness. Her dramatic reading brought the Living Word into focus, particularly for our daughter, Daphne, a sixth grader at the time.

“What would it mean if we truly lived thankfully,” Lindsay asked to spur discussion.

As a grown-up I was thinking about the poverty on the Reservation and the spiritual needs, but a middle schooler up past bedtime responded to the question. “Well, then we would be thankful for our troubles even. You know,” Daphne said.

Her response left me gaping, and teary. And proud. The moment sowed my own thankfulness for the Holy Spirit’s work in my daughter’s heart, and for the opportunity to take part in a family mission trip.

My girl understands. In some way, God captured her heart with this lesson, and she knows one part of life that God uses to build us into people of integrity — difficulties. Praise God for that lesson in my daughter.

Cry out for insight,
and ask for understanding.
Search for them as you would for silver;
seek them like hidden treasures.
Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord,
and you will gain knowledge of God.
For the Lord grants wisdom!
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
Proverbs 2:3-7 NLT

Summer brought my son’s ninth birthday. This kid loves ramping bikes with the older neighbor boy, trying back flips on the diving board, listening to music on his MP3 player, and playing basketball and soccer. School’s cool, too, in his eyes, but if all learning could take place at Running and Gunning Outdoor University, all the better.

But last week at lunch he showed his spiritual thinking cap, and popped up with a comment that came out of nowhere. “Why do we even have B.C.? It doesn’t make any sense, because Jesus has always been. I don’t get it.” Then he returned to feasting on his quesadilla or pizza or whatever the fare was.

I confess, I considered explaining the concept of measuring time before Jesus walked on Earth. But I just shook my head, and not a sound escaped my mouth. “You’re right, David. That doesn’t make any sense.”

Why correct a boy who understands the eternal nature of His Lord and Savior? What a moment. What a gift.

Then there’s the teenager. Oh, boy! (Insert smile, not grouchy face.) Jessica’s dad and I have watched her during the last year as she has developed a passion for social justice. Since she was little, she has tended to stick up for the little guy, been moved by the perils of the weak and wanted to help others.

Jess has been incorporating major world problems into her reading selections and discussing the issues of fair trade, childhood slavery and more with her school and church friends.

Jess attended a missionary presentation this spring at our church home, Prairie Ridge Church, Ankeny, Iowa ( A New Zealander shared the story of a Christian mission business, a slave-prostitute rescue operation in Kolkata, India, called Freeset (

The missionary told stories of women rescued from a dirty, urban, miles-long prostitution line. She explained the abuse they endured, the emotional scars and healing, the skills the women developed after their rescue and their spiritual paths.

Jessica and her dear friend even talked with the speaker, one of the Freeset founders. She blessed them with encouragement and answered their questions. I watched as she spoke to them and listened to them in truth and sincerity, with grace and gratitude.

Encounters and landmark moments like these show me how important my mothering role is. How much it matters to open doors in my kids’ lives to allow God to work in them, and show them His work in others. It brings to life the realization that my children belong to God, and he has graciously loaned them to me. What a difference they can make. What praise they can bring to Him, as they allow Him to work through them.

The loving, the teaching, the praying, the playing, my husband and I, along with many others, pour into my kids — and you into yours — matters. It makes an impact. It is not in vain. Praise God. Together, let’s keep raising up our kids for Him.

We are not preaching about ourselves. Our message is that Jesus Christ is Lord. He also sent us to be your servants. The Scriptures say, "God commanded light to shine in the dark." Now God is shining in our hearts to let you know that his glory is seen in Jesus Christ.

We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us.
2 Cor. 4:5-7 CEV

©Helene Bergren. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful! How inspiring to see your children/young teens be so insightful. Thanks!