Each generation has likely shared similar thoughts through the ages. In every generation there is some variation of an effort to captivate the hearts and minds of children. Our time, this moment is no different. As the sensory bombardment of the world around us contends for the attention of our children, as parents, ministers and leaders we can find ourselves a little overwhelmed with the task at hand…pointing kids toward Jesus and engaging them with His kingdom.
Psychologists have confirmed through a multitude of research, that emotional formation and patterns of the soul have largely been established before the child ever walks out of the door for their first day of kindergarten. Home is where we are formed. Home is where tracts of thought are initiated and cultivated. As a father, I have come to embrace that what takes place within the walls of our house will be the most formative aspects of my kids’ lives. In the midst of all the noise, some positive and some negative, Home is where my kids’ story will primarily be written.
While most kids are oblivious to much of the adult cultural tension surrounding us, they are certainly impacted both directly and indirectly. We live in a moment, due to the rapidly expanding reach and scope of available information, ideas and thoughts, that more than ever people have a choice of “home”. People have a choice of where they are formed. People have access to various ideologies, redefined societal norms, and ever changing information. As a result, people have more control over their development, and can experience ideas completely foreign to what they were taught as children.
I mention the above simply to emphasize, our kids will enter the technological version of the Wild Wild West. Even for an adult, navigating these waters can become confusing. Imagine the experience of our children who have so much competition for their thought processes, foundational beliefs, and world view. This is stated, not to incite fear, but as an assignment.
We must contend to ensure that when our children think of “home”…
When they think of where answers are found…
When they think of where they are really cared for…
When they consider upon what foundation their lives will be built…
When they choose to which environment they will submit their formation…
They won’t think of a place…
They won’t think of ideas…
They won’t think of a media outlet…
Long after they have left our houses…
As they explore the world and blaze their own trails…
They will know their real HOME…
HOME is a person.
HOME is HIM.
Father, our HOME is YOU.
YOU are our HOME.
YOU are our true NORTH.
YOU are where we belong.
YOU are where we lie down and rise again.
YOU are where we enter freely.
YOU are where we know and are known.
YOU are where we we grow, and from where we go.
YOU are where we are nurtured and corrected.
YOU are where we learn and mature.
YOU are where we dine and recline.
YOU are where we serve and honor.
YOU are where we are received and celebrated.
YOU are where shoes and masks come off.
YOU are where respect and standards are established.
YOU are where we laugh and cry.
YOU are where dreams are dreamed.
YOU are where our story begins and ends.
YOU are where we find comfort and peace.
YOU are where we love and are loved.
As they enter their teen years and wrestle with adulthood…
When they are weary
When they are restless
When they are anxious
When they are fearful
When they are confused
When they are overwhelmed
When they are sorrowful
When they are angry
When they are lonely
When they are mistreated
When they are distressed
When they are disappointed
When they achieve
When they climb high
When they succeed
When they dream
When they are thriving
When they are confident
When they are celebrated
When they are happy
At all ages. In all things. In all seasons. In all assignments. In all experiences.
There’s no place like HOME.