- Love God first. Everything else stems from this.
- Love others, especially your family. They are on your team. They will be the last ones in line cheering for you when everyone else has moved on.
- Put others’ needs before your own. Think about how your actions will impact them. Realize that how others see you matters. The ultimate plan is for them to see God through you. Question each thought, action and motive by this standard.
- With much freedom comes much responsibility. Appreciate the boundaries set in God’s word and through your parents. No one loves you more nor has your best interest at heart like they do. Boundaries are for your better good.
- Recognize that your parents are not perfect. They will make mistakes. Neither are your friends perfect. Your friends are often the very ones who might lead you down the wrong path, even if it’s unintentional.
- Know that respect is necessary. Respect for God. Respect for yourself. Respect for others.
- Understand that sin is subtle. Run from it. Most often, struggles with sin began as what seemed to be just a good time. No one in prison intended to end up there.
- Remember that people will disappoint you. Make it your goal to try hard not to disappoint others.
- Be aware that there will always be a bigger, better deal that comes along. Be the one who sticks to your commitments despite the better offer.
- Do everything you do as if it is for the Lord. Work harder than the next guy. Always tell the truth. Be someone people can count on.
- Be disciplined in your phone usage. Don’t send things you would not want just anyone to read or see. Ever. Type texts, emails and chats as if you are carrying on a conversation with the most important person you know. Jesus, perhaps? Remember this is a tool used by parents to communicate with you that we typically pay for. It is a privilege not a necessity. More for safety purposes than social ones.
- Driving is another privilege. Remember, nothing good happens after midnight. Be careful and responsible.
- Send thank you notes. Often. And, thank your teachers and coaches every chance you get.
- Root for the little guy. Take time to make those younger than you seem special. Especially your siblings. Go out of your way for the under dog.
- Give a firm handshake. Look people in the eye and smile. A smile can change someone’s day.
- Serve others well. Think of one simple way each day to help someone else even if you simply hold the door for them.
- Don’t take relationships with the opposite sex lightly. Remember to guard your heart. The young lady or man you may like today will more than likely be someone else’s wife or husband one day. Treat them as God would. Keep Jesus in the center of all your relationships.
- Leave things better than you found them. If you borrow someone’s car, fill it with gas. Respect other people’s things and be responsible. Repay a kind deed with more than is expected.
- There is always power in what you speak. Choose your words wisely. You never know who may be listening. (Or watching for that matter). Words spoken today can not be undone. Make sure that you mean what you say and you say what you mean. Always in love, grace and truth.
- If you are following the crowd, you are probably going the wrong way. If you are truly following after Jesus the quantity may be small but the quality of people in your life will be overwhelmingly wonderful. Choose well.
- Stand firm. Don’t settle for less than. Don’t set your standards by just anyone. Look to Jesus. Remember that standing firm sometimes means standing alone in the here and now.
- Don’t plan your life moment by moment. Take time to think through things long term. Prayerfully. Don’t take the day-to-day choices too lightly. They all add up to your life eventually.
- Choose joy. Be grateful. Give thanks. Ask for wisdom. Be strong and courageous. Resolved. Even when you may not feel like it. There is a real enemy who is seeking to harm your life. You can’t see him, but he shows up in the most unexpected places and people. Your mind is his playground. Be aware of his schemes and pay close attention to his ways, but focus on God. Praising God is the best way to defeat the enemy so do it often.
- When all else fails go back to your roots. Hopefully they will be firmly planted in God’s word. Write it on your heart. Remember, no matter how society evolves or digresses, God’s Truth never changes.
Although the specifics of some items may change over time, these basic principles will always stand true.
Remember, if we want our children to be intentional, then we must be intentional as well.
Parenting from an eternal perspective.
They should be our priority. Second only to God.
And, yes, this time of teaching will pass all too quickly. So make the most of it.
Stay the course. Stand firm.
Keep your eye on the real target – not this world, but heaven.
Don’t deviate from the Truth of God’s Word.
Ask more questions. Train by example. They are watching and listening. Our actions speak much louder than our words.
Remind them of their true target in life. What they are really aiming for and why.
Yes, Jesus should be the center of it all.
Enjoy them. Focus more on the wins than the losses. Cheer loud and love BIG!
And, pray often.
God chose you for such a time as this and by His power, you are equipped and able!
From one chosen yet overwhelmed and ill-equipped parent who loves Jesus to another.
Bless you and your family.
Praise God! He is faithful.