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Let 'em stumble a bit

Some of us are parents - all of us came from parents. In the end, most parents want to know their kids will turn out 'okay' and be able to make it on their own. As parents, we have big dreams for our kiddos - some will be just barely realized and others will blossom way beyond our imagining. Either way, our kiddos will become their 'own selves' in the course of time and we see them launch into their lives of independence way sooner than we imagined. When they are growing up, there are tidbits of information we put into their lives - things we want them to know so they will grow up physically strong, emotionally secure, and spiritually in touch with their Lord, Jesus Christ. We pray for the best, hope for them to do well, pouring into their lives all we know how to give. In the end, the results are all up to God and them!

"And you, Solomon my son, get to know well your father's God; serve him with a whole heart and eager mind, for God examines every heart and sees through every motive. If you seek him, he'll make sure you find him, but if you abandon him, he'll leave you for good. Look sharp now! God has chosen you to build his holy house. Be brave, determined! And do it!" (I Chronicles 28:9-10 MSG)

David was this kind of father - he wanted much for his children (and for the nation he ruled). As he is about to hand-off the "baton" of rule to his son, he gives some pretty awesome instruction to Solomon. I think this advice is often re-spoken by parents as we see these "milestones" in our children's lives, as well. Nothing is more honoring to a parent than to see this advice grasped, lived out, and carried onto the next generation. He starts with the most important aspect of success - getting to know the God of his father. This speaks volumes to me as a parent, because nothing burned in my heart more as I was raising my children than the desire to see them grow up strong in their own relationship with the God I trust and love so much. The starting point for "success" in life is first in establishing this connection. Most successful business leaders will tell you their "business" took a turn when the right "connections" were made. The same principle is true in our everyday "Christian" lives. When the right connection is made, the path is paved for our success.

Then he reminds Solomon to serve God with a whole heart and eager mind. It is not a "Sunday-go-to-meeting" kind of relationship with his God that is needed. In fact, there is a "depth" of relationship that is to be sought. Heart and mind engaged in seeking God and serving him well. It is a parent's delight to see a young person become strong in their own faith - meeting challenges beyond their years with the wisdom of their loving and caring God. "Look sharp! Be brave! Be determined! Do it!" These words are what we want for each of our kiddos. The four things David tells Solomon probably would translate this way in today's times:

Look Sharp! Don't let anyone see you as less than who you are - a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Be Brave! Many things will look overwhelming, but you can do all things when Christ is the Master of your life. No fear! Fear will paralyze you - focus will invigorate you and prepare you for all that is ahead. Be Determined! You will stumble a few times - get up! Try again! No one can keep you down! Do It! Run well! Don't listen to the nay-sayers! Put one foot in front of the other and just run!

Believe it or not, parents, you have made an impact in the lives of your kids - as they grow into adulthood, it is their turn to make an impact on their world! You have trained well - as they come into that time of approaching those final years at home, or have already moved on into adulthood, this is the time for you to begin to coach well! Stand back - allow a few missteps - this is how they learn to stand strong and to rely on their God. In assuming their roles into and within adulthood, they will stumble - but...scripture is certain about this one fact: If you have trained them up in the way they should go, they will get there! Just sayin!

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