Another summer adventure is in the books. We finished up the summer with a scavenger hunt that required the girls to complete tasks tied to their own unique talents. The prize was a trip to play laser tag.
I wish I could tell you that the six girls that gather around my kitchen table each week learned so much that they always make good decisions about what comes out of their mouths, they truly appreciate one another's differences and they always see themselves and others as masterpieces made in God's image.
But I can't.
The truth is that these six girls are like the rest of us.They still struggle to control their tongues, appreciate each others' differences and put the needs of others before their own.
The goal for the summer was not to end the summer with perfect children. The goal for the summer was to have the girls gain some perspective on their differences and begin to think about how they treat each other. And, in that respect, it was a success.
I've seen each of these girls take a minute to think before they act. I've seen them encourage one another. I've seen them begin to appreciate each other. And that's really what the purpose of our adventure was -- to begin to truly understand the importance of viewing each other as God's masterpieces.
Too often, I think, we expect big things when we're teaching our kids little lessons. We get frustrated when they don't immediately apply what we're teaching them. But raising kids is a process. We don't change our own behaviors overnight and neither will our kids. Yet every lesson we teach that is rooted in God's word plants a seed in our children's hearts. The time we invest is worth it even if we can't see any tangible results.
Isaiah 55:10-11 says "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."
When we take the time to use God's word to teach our kids, it makes a difference in their hearts. God's word is never wasted. It always achieves His purpose. While we may not see immediate results, God's word is at work in the hearts of our kids. It may be years down the road or it may be tomorrow when we see the fruit that springs from that seed, but God's word bears fruit.
As we head into the school year, don't be discouraged if your kids fail to apply everything you're teaching. Simply know that God is using His word in their hearts. The seeds you plant today will bear fruit in their lives. It's a promise.