Time to Read: 4 minutes
Listen as Don and Suzanne encourage parents to pursue God above all. Suzanne shares her testimony of discovering how much God knew her and loved her. She shares insightful stories of how she simply brought God into day-to-day conversations with her children. Her relationship with Jesus has been the greatest foundation for parenting her seven children.
In the month of April, we celebrate the greatest event in the history of the world. Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:32, that if Jesus had not been resurrected, then “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
But the resurrection IS true, Jesus DID conquer death, and His resurrection gives us hope for this life and the life to come. First Peter 1:3 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade.”
So how does the resurrection relate to creating a Crazy Cool Family? I thought you would never ask! This month we move from the bottom of our Crazy Cool Family diagram (see below and on page 12 of our book) where last month we talked about Building Culture, to the top – Pursuing God. It is at the top for a reason. The best thing we can do for our family is to Pursue God!
Part of our journey as parents is growing with Jesus, and encouraging our children to grow with Him as well. Our example for our kids is more important than our instruction to them. Especially as they get older, our kids will look to us to model our faith so they see in us a God worth following.
For most of us – and this certainly includes Suzanne and me – we did not walk into our marriages as mature believers. We have faith issues and wrong ways of thinking. We have wounds created by past hurts. We all have issues. Right?
I took some time in our podcast this week to interview Suzanne about her faith journey, specifically during the younger years of our marriage. Our followers today see Suzanne, rightfully so, as a mighty woman of God with a deep faith. However, it is helpful and encouraging to remember where she came from and how God has taught her so much over our almost three decades of raising a family.
First of all, we started as a blended family. We got married when our oldest daughter, Mollie, was a little over two years old. Mollie was an unplanned, unmarried pregnancy, and Suzanne had a lot of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual issues to deal with in her early 20’s.
She tells about how she felt like the woman at the well and Mary who washed Jesus’ feet. She had a white, picket-fence dream, and the dream was not starting out that way. But as she processed with God, she discovered He loved her and forgave her. She felt like she “messed up a bunch,” and this allowed God to “forgive a bunch.”
She also talked about how she lacked confidence in her faith because she had not been raised in the church. She did not know many Bible stories. She didn’t know David killed Goliath, or Moses parted the Red Sea, or about Noah’s Ark. We wanted to serve in our church, and we loved kids, so God put us in children’s ministry where she had to learn these stories in order to teach them. In fifteen years of children’s ministry, you get to teach a lot of Bible stories! Our serving in the local church served to answer some spiritual needs in Suzanne’s life as well.
The result? Over time, this woman has grown deeply in her faith and is now a great example to our children. In fact, when we started planning to write our book, we first went to our kids and asked them what we should write. In other words, kids, tell us why you are all thriving in your relationships with Jesus.
Their answer? They told us, “We saw your relationship with God. You lived it out in front of us…not trying to be perfect or hypocritical. You had a daily journey of building your faith and including us in the story.” We naively thought it would be our great teaching moments, but it was actually just having them be a part of our lives as we daily learned to walk with Jesus.
The best parents are first sons and daughters of the King.
This month as we celebrate Easter, let us encourage you to pursue your relationship with God. Salvation is not the end. Not even close. It is the beginning of a new life, and this new life starts on earth today…not in heaven in the future. Today! This month we will be helping you do just that.
If you have a question or a parenting issue that you’d like us to discuss in a future podcast, email us at [email protected].
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