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An Approach to Life
Theme of the week: How to Raise Successful Children
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

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Key Bible Verse: The Lord has shown you what is good. He has told you what he requires of you. You must treat people fairly. You must love others faithfully. And you must be very careful to live the way your God wants you to. (Micah 6:8, NIRV) Dig Deeper: Deuteronomy 10:12-13

Things like character, compassion, loyalty—these will truly make for a successful life. If my sons and daughters possess these traits, I'll consider them successful—and the parenting effective.

The process of imparting these traits to your child is organic—it isn't a program so much as an approach to life that involves living out your convictions and involving your child in your world. Live out your beliefs in such a way that your kid sees what's going on. (And remember, kids pick up on almost everything!)

My friend James and his wife, Joan, live a life that is consistent, caring, and pretty remarkable. They invite needy individuals into their home for months at a time. They live without debt so they can contribute to Christian causes. In a world of conspicuous consumption, they buy secondhand. They sold most of what they had to serve in Scotland as missionaries.

James's children have learned firsthand about other cultures, living frugally, serving people, and being selfless—because they see their dad and mom choosing those values daily. His kids, now young adults, reflect their father's character because through the years they saw him modeling a set of deeply held beliefs. They're just practicing what he preaches and lives.

—John Fuller in First-Time Dad

My Response: What values are communicated by the way I spend my time and money?

Thought to Apply: Success is not something to be measured in power or fortune or fame. I believe a life of service to others is a successful life.—Gerald Ford (38th president)

Adapted from First-Time Dad (Moody, 2011) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Father, forgive me when my expectations for my kids reflect my own definition of success rather than yours; help me to more consistently model for my family what it means to be a sincere Christ-follower.

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