Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Parting Words

I know from the title it seems like this could be the last post I ever write.  I hope that would be compelling enough for you to click through this post even though it's not my last post.

The real reason I'm writing is because of my parting words to my kids regarding anything.  They are going to school. Have Fun! They are walking over to a friends house.  Have Fun!
Pretty much that is my standard sendoff, and I think a lot of parents.  Even after church my first question often is, "Did you have fun?" As if that were the most important thing. (Hint: It's not)

Then I was thinking back to my parents or people in times gone by.  Often they would say Be safe! or drive safe!   Maybe my kids don't drive yet and so I don't think they could be hurt so quickly by being careless. Or maybe it's just a change in mentality.  

I don't think either send off is the right one.  Instead of reminding children to be careful, or encouraging them to be a bit reckless (that's how I would often have fun.) I think there is a middle way that is best. 

 Praise God!  or Glorify God!  seems like it should be the thing we are telling our kids.  You are going to school:  Glorify God! (by doing your best, by living with joy, by being responsible)  You are going to a friends house:  Glorify God! (by being a light for Christ, by listening to their parents, by having a great time delighting in this friend of yours who bears the image of God)

This brings me back to the tv show home improvement Where Brad, the oldest doesn't want to have his parents say I love you.  So they develop a code word imbued with meaning.  When Tim (the dad) says how about those lions?  He really means I love you. 

I doubt that my children want to hear me say glorify God to them as I send them off.  Simone doesn't even like me to kiss her goodbye, and Gabe is gone the moment we touch school grounds.  So maybe it's talking to them, and telling them what this kind of thing means and then encourage them with Live Well, or Do Good (like literally, do "good")

The point is, we should send our kids out with reminders that all of life is filled with significance. We need to underline that significance rather than utter vacuous statements that don't instruct or instruct in error.

Alright, until next time.  Live Well!

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