What's the purpose?
It’s safe to say we can all remember some rough patches of our own school career. Perhaps it was elementary school for you, when you encountered playground bullies or worked through some particular insecurities. Maybe it was middle school, when you struggled to fit in with your peers or find your place in the school. Or it could have been high school, when challenging academics partnered with peer pressure made it feel like a battle zone…
Whatever it may be, it’s unfortunately very likely our kids are facing similar issues – just in different ways. School can be hard. It can be scary. It can be overwhelming. And it can be so much more. BUT – here is the good news:
We have Jesus.
This changes EVERYTHING! We can surrender any of our insecurities, fear or loneliness, and cling to the real hope and real love that we have in Him. Who we are – our entire identity – rests on Him. So, in addition to praying, one way to intentionally launch our kids out into the school year is by reminding them of who they are in Christ and what their purpose is.
As you start the school year, spend some time reminding your kids of some important biblical truths: that they are a child of God, created in His image, and loved by Him; that they are of worth, are not a mistake, and have purpose; that they are a new creation in Christ, free from condemnation, and are called to be an ambassador of God.
As a follower of Christ, we are to be a light in this dark world. And at school, your child will definitely be filled with opportunities to show Jesus to those around them. Encourage them to be open to the Holy Spirit’s direction, and to show boldness and courage in sharing their faith. Here is a great article with some helpful advice for parents on raising a faith-sharing child.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14
God places each of our kids in the exact classrooms with the exact teachers alongside the exact peers that they are meant to be with. Most likely, these are people they would not normally encounter in other circles. These are people outside our church walls, in the community, and this is a great opportunity to invest in these relationships!
As you send your kids out, pray and encourage them to love like Jesus did: to help those that are hurting, to befriend those that are lonely, to make a difference where there needs to be change… It may take some effort and it might not be easy, but we are called to see people the way God sees them. Remind your kids that kindness and compassion can go a long way in someone’s life.
“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. . . . Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:35-36, 40
Your child is made for something bigger and better than just themselves – for sharing the redemption and grace and LOVE that comes from knowing Christ. Check back on Friday for some creative strategies for reinforcing this idea in your kids this year.
And for all the parents sending their kids out the door, here’s a little video to tug on your heartstrings… and remind you that they’re gonna fly.