Jill Jarrell Newsome
"Losing Our Marbles"
Last Sunday night a friend of mine was getting ready to post a picture of her daughters taking part in the Family Youth Worship night. She said as she got ready to post it on Face Book, it was like God led her to write this:
“Want to know why it’s important for your kids to be involved with youth group? This! My girls are not perfect, but they are God’s gift to me and when He asks what I did with His gift I want to be able to say I did my best with them. I prayed diligently for them, and yes I MADE them go to church, youth group, etc. Just because they are preachers daughters does not mean they want to be at church all the time but I know that they need all the Jesus they can get! So do I! And so do all of our youth! Parents, it is our responsibility to make sure that our kids are at worship, at youth, Sunday school. It should not be a choice. We don’t give them the choice to go to school because of very good reasons so why would we give them a choice on something that means life or death? We would give our children every opportunity under the sun to succeed in this life if possible but do we give them every opportunity that we have to help them grow in their relationship with God? A real relationship with God is the most important thing in life. Not what sports they will play, what career they will have, what house they will live in, etc. With the things that kids face today at school, home or elsewhere they need every opportunity there is offered to get God’s word in their heart, they need to know they can call on Him when things get tough, or be able to remember God’s Word that has been instilled in them to help them fight everyday battles. I believe the devil is coming against us with everything he has to keep our kids away from building a relationship with God because he knows if our kids don’t develop a strong relationship with god now, then there is a good chance they will be too busy later in life as well. Are we doing everything we can do to help our kids with what really matters? Building a relationship with God. I know I can do more. It’s not a choice. It’s a must!”
We got together and talked about this post and what it brought it about. That night she watched the youth lead worship by playing in the youth band, reading Scripture or saying the prayer. What really touched her was seeing the youth “listen”. She kept thinking this is the most important thing for our kids. They need to be poured into every chance they get. They cannot stand firm on what they believe when they do not know what they believe. How can they learn to fight temptation when they do not know God is strong enough to pull them through?
We talked about how we believe our children are a gift from God. Psalm 127: 3, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” The Bible stories and Scripture were a part of our life because of growing up and being active in the church. We may not be able to recite the Scriptures but we know they are there! Deuteronomy 11: 18, “Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the people who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” It is vital, for our children and us, to be in Sunday school and church! Lamentations 2: 19, “Arise, cry out in the night, At the beginning of the watches; Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him For the life of your young children, Who faint from hunger at the head of every street.”
At the end of the devotional, which was about spending time with God, our pastor explained to the kids what an Altar call is. He told them if they felt led to come forward. He explained that you do not go to the Altar because something is wrong with you. You go to the Altar because something is right in you! That bears repeating. You do not go to the Altar because something is wrong with you. You go to the Altar because something is right in you! In “Losing Your Marbles”, Reggie Joiner says he gives new parents a jar of 1000 marbles. The average child has about a 1000 weekends until they graduate. Every week they are to take out a marble so they can see what a limited time they have. Psalm 90: 12, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Moses reminds us that time is limited and time is fleeting. When you see how quickly the marbles disappear you see how much time you have left. When you see how much time you have left you tend to get serious about the time you have now. A relationship with God does not happen in a moment. When you teach your children about Jesus over a lifetime God can use this time to prove to them that He really cares for them.
This relationship with God starts at home. Parents have over 3000 hours a year to teach their children about Jesus. The church has an average of about 40 hours a year with a child to teach them about Jesus. Parents, you have a huge responsibility to your children. Don’t take our word on it. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 22: 6, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” I leave you with one of my favorite Bible verses. 3 John 1: 4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” Don't lose your marbles!