Heritage from the Lord – Joshua Vaughan
By: Joshua Vaughan
July 21, 2016
In about a week’s time, my wife will give birth to our second son. Preparing for the second is a different process than preparing for your first child. When Amber was pregnant with Levi (our first son) we were worried about having all the right gear, making sure the room was prepared, and that everything was in place. With the second, we are less anxious but more curious and excited about what his personality and looks will be like, and how he will be different from Levi.
As we anticipate our second son coming into the world, we pray regularly for a smooth and safe delivery. On a more eternal perspective, we pray that our kids would make an impact for the Kingdom of God. That is our first priority in parenting.
Before we had kids, we did all the research we could about how to parent, what to expect, and how things would change. What we didn’t expect was how little time we would spend on each other and our marriage. With our focus so heavily fixed on caring for the needs of our son in the first month of being parents, we barely talked. What we didn’t account for was the toll that parenting might take on our marriage. With all the distractions, schedule changes, and needs of our sons, we need to be intentional about our time as husband and wife and pour purposeful effort into our marriage so that we can be the best parents that we can be.
Not only do Amber and I focus on being intentional about our marriage relationship, but more importantly, we focus on our relationship with Christ. We want to display the love of Christ and His place in our hearts to our sons so that they might live in the same fashion. A big reason for my own faith in God is the way my parents lived out their faith. Their witness spoke volumes to me as I grew to know and follow Christ as my personal Savior. I want to offer that to my boys.
No one has salvation because their parents have salvation, each person needs to choose to follow Christ and let Him change their heart. As Amber and I surround our family with the Word of God, we want to encourage our children to seek God, not by forcing Him on them, but by showing them lives that are lived for Christ’s glory.
It’s a tough world to raise children in. It seems like kids face so many more distractions today than we did growing up. As Amber and I seek to raise our children to be followers of Christ, we are mindful that each child will be different, with different needs and different roles in life. When I was growing up, I was much more easily persuaded by others than my brother was. My parents recognized that and pulled me out of public school and into a private one. They saw that my needs were different from his, and they made sure that I was set up for success and Godliness. I’m so thankful that they did this for me and, in the same way, I want to be mindful of what my kids can and cannot handle so that we can put them in situations where they can succeed and grow. And that will differ because God has given each person different strengths and weaknesses.
The Bible talks about children being like arrows in the quiver of a soldier.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.” —Psalm 127:3-4
We are responsible as parents to train our kids in the right way, leading them down the right path so that they will choose God for themselves. If you lead a life of godliness, they will have an idea of how to follow God and handle the world before them. Amber and I pray and seek to do this so that our sons will find their purpose in Christ, doing what God has called them to do, and trusting in Him to be their hope and strength. I can’t imagine a bigger blessing than that.
Joshua Vaughan is a regular contributor of The Increase and will be providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Joshua’s Increase profile here: http://theincrease.com/author/josh-vaughan/
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