I am now 8 years into parenting. My son will be old enough this coming summer to be a Kids Camper! As a dad, the more complex life gets and the more my kids personalities develop, the more I find myself gravitating to simple, foundational principles. In our home, I declare truths over my kids with regularity and speak identity into their young souls. One consistent statement in our family, which the kids can recite, is to wake up every morning with a “YES” in your heart for Jesus and still have that “YES” when you lie down in the bed at night.
Growing up as a child, it seemed the faith I inherited was predicated more on my ability to “just say no”. We were well versed in what behavior was sinful and the ramifications for such activity. Hell was hot, Jesus was coming soon and if you cussed you had no chance. While I still tend to agree that cussing is a gateway into sin, a sustainable, healthy life of faith cannot be built upon a negative. As important as it is to say “no” to sin, YES is MORE. One can say no to sin, but that “no” is completely illegitimate and has no eternal significance if it is not made in harmony with a strong “YES” to Jesus.
At present, we find ourselves in an era in which the lines of right and wrong are blurred by society. Inappropriate behavior is now clothing itself in words like love, acceptance and justice. Our children are being raised in an age of confusion, where every idea and principle is in question and available for re-packaging. I say this not to create angst, but to point us into a clear direction. While we can never completely remove ourselves from the responsibility of teaching our kids about sin, we are in a moment where sin is being redefined, by society, government, and even the church. So what is our response?
We raise up a generation with an unwavering YES to Jesus in their hearts. We paint the accurate picture of the person of Christ. Jesus is still the best thing we have and Holy Spirit is still the best behavior modifier in the earth. We unveil to our children what YES to Jesus really looks like. Certainly, some “no’s” are required as you walk down the path, but we focus on the YES.
This YES is universal and applies to every region of their lives.
YES to prayer, the bible, worship and the church.
YES to kindness, goodness and love.
YES to generosity, missions and the call of God.
YES to justice and compassion.
YES to purity, integrity and character.
Yes on a random, unspectacular Tuesday in March…
Yes in the middle of math class…
Yes in the field and on the court…
Yes at age 8…11…15… 30…60…
Yes when its easy…Yes when it hurts…Yes when others are watching…Yes when no one sees…Yes when the crowds are cheering and yes in the silence…Yes when its popular…Yes when its not.
And YES in our final breath.
2018 is the Summer of YES in TYM Kids! Each night the old tabernacle will be filled with the sounds of new, young voices calling out to Jesus. Dream with me of what may come on the other side of all those YES’s.
Find registration details at tymcamp.com in the coming weeks!