Yesterday at Cross Point we had our first Child Dedication service at the Bellevue Campus. Our campus is dubbed “the family campus” and this service proved that to be true. We had 29 children that were dedicated. It was a great day.
As I sat in my office and looked over my notes, I felt God prompt me to share with these new parents three things I wish I knew 15 years ago when I became a parent. There are a lot more than 3…but I thought I’d share with you what I shared with them.
1. Time is more valuable than possessions.
There have been so many seasons in my life that I have thought what my kids needed from me the most was stuff. Shoes. Clothes. A bigger house. A nicer room. The next upgrade of electronics. I have been tempted and at times have made the mistake of cheating time for gifts. What I’ve realized over the past few years is that my kids just really want me…more than anything I can buy them they desire time with me. Time communicates value. What I give my time to is what I care about the most. They want to know I care about them more than anything.
2. Desire heart transformation more than behavior modification.
There is no doubt that behavior is important. There is no doubt that I don’t want to be that dad in line at the grocery store…you know that guy…whose kid is on the ground screaming and crying cause he wants some Skittles? Behavior is important. But more important than how my kids act is who they are becoming as young men. I often equate outward appearance with inner heart change. I don’t want to teach my boys to be fake and to pretend. I want them to desire heart change more than acting like good kids.
3. It’s okay to not have it together all the time.
There is a lot of pressure as a parent. There are times that fear over takes me. There are times that I blow it and I wonder if my kids will drop out of high school or join the circus because I just messed up. What I have learned is that my kids need me to be real more than they need me to be perfect. Admitting failure as a parent creates a culture of grace in our family. I want our boys to know that they don’t have to be perfect to be loved. They don’t have to have it all together. This is a place that they can admit failure. It is in our weakness that Christ is made strong.