We have heard study after study say that it is not what we say that our children follow, but what we do in our day to day actions.
We have also heard the term "Life Is A Game" before but what is truly important is learning ourselves and teaching our children that the game is not scored by the amount of chips, money or houses we acquire. The game is not won by beating all the other opponents or slyly maneuvering our piece around the board. The most important lesson of all is that in the end, when the game is finally over, all the pieces go back in the box.
The 3 primary ways the world keeps score is:
1. By Comparison
2. By Competition
3. By Climbing Ladders
God however has a different way of keeping score. God tells us not to compare ourselves to others but to Jesus. He tells us not to get caught up in competition but to work together and love one another. And Jesus was never a ladder climber, Jesus was not a CEO. In fact, most times, Jesus was climbing down the ladder to reach the people who needed him most.
So the question is, What are some ways we can live on purpose with Jesus' teachings while also modeling the traits necessary to pass on to our children?
I am going to cover this more in depth over the course of my next few posts but to start off with.
1. Loving More Deeply.
Unfortunately, we can't TiVo life and rewind or fast forward through certain parts. We only get 24 hours in each day. How we spend those hours is up to us. Listen to songs like "Cats in the Cradle" and you will hear over and over again, take time to love those around you and cherish your relationships. Jesus' greatest commandment was love one another.
2. Laugh More Often.
I believe that life is really made up of special moments and memories that we have. The more of these special moments and memories we can create, the greater joy and happiness we and our children will have.
3. Give More Generously.
Let me ask you a question. When your dead, does it matter how much money is still in your checking account? Is your prized baseball card collection really worth not passing it on to a younger generation? On the day that I die, will I have any regrets about the time and energy I spent accumulating worthless items and material possessions?
4. Playing With Integrity.
The saying is true, "It's not if you win or lose, but how you play the game." Time and time again we see in studies, politics and life that honesty and integrity can shatter your life no matter how high or low you sit. It's better to always take the moral high ground and live with a clear conscience.
5. Grace and Repentance.
God has granted us the greatest grace ever imaginable, so why should we not extend that same grace to our children, spouses, friends and family? Grace Based Parenting is by far the best system of parenting that I have found today. We need to be quick to forgive and slow to pass judgment.
6. The Danger of More.
Everyone is against materialism but many people always want more. We need to model and teach the difference between wants and needs, how to live with contentment, and how more is not always better. Always striving for more can lead to violating the first five principles and also grounds us in the belief that the score is kept by the amount of toys we have.
We need to model and teach our children that the game of life is won by knowing and pursuing a relationship with Jesus Christ. And by following the guidelines and teachings of Jesus, we can lead a happier, more content life with richness beyond our dreams.
The wisest people build their lives around what is eternal and then squeeze in what is temporary. Not the other way around.
Because in the end, it all goes back in the box.