Julie Holt is a ministers wife, a mother to three, foster mom and has ministered in a variety of capacities. She is passionate about serving the Lord with her life and loves to encourage others in their relationship with Christ.
Seeing Through HIS Eyes
By Julie HoltOne of my favorite things about summer is summer camp. There are so many blessings that come with being able to send our kids to a Christian camp, where they learn about Jesus and are discipled by college students. But there is one blessing that stands out above the rest.
On the last day of camp, there is a special ceremony where the counselors verbally affirm each of their campers. Throughout the week of camp, these counselors have watched the kids in their cabin and observed their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and gifts-who God has made them to be. They then bring out three “character qualities” of each child, describing their uniqueness. The counselor encourages and affirms each child in front of the cabin and parents, and presents them with a certificate as a spiritual reminder.
As I watched the ceremony unfold this past summer, I began to question what kinds of things I value and affirm in my children. Is my emphasis on having an organized and tidy room, or on serving others in love? God began to show me that I praise my children more for external things, rather than for what God is doing inside of them, the unseen and eternal. If I truly value what God values, then those things will be brought to the forefront. Consider this passage:
“Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to me...””
Matt. 26: 6-10 NASB
The disciples are clearly bothered by this woman’s stewardship. Using their “logical” and humanistic thinking, they point out the excessive waste of money by this woman. In reflection, I found myself thinking the exact same thing! What a waste! Just think of all of the children who could have been fed with that money! But Jesus calls this action a “good deed.” He valued her worship over the value of the money she “wasted.”
It is easy for us as parents to affirm things that are external, for example, good behavior, good grades, scoring in a soccer game, and the list goes on. But are these not same types of things that the world affirms in our children. Everyone wants their child to be smart and successful. How does this set us apart as those sanctified by Christ? If the world affirms these external characteristics…who affirms their self-control, the application of scripture, or the fruits of the Spirit? Who praises our children when they put themselves last or pursue what is eternal?
My desire as a parent is to value what God values in my children. I seek to focus on the things that He is doing in them and who HE is making them to be rather than what the world deems is good in them. May our prayers be for God to give us the eyes and wisdom to see the hearts of our children and to affirm and encourage the eternal things that He is doing in them.
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor. 3:18 NIV
Challenge: Have a special dinner (or breakfast) and affirm each child. Tell them how you have seen them grow in Christ in recent months. Use the phrase, “I see Christ in you when...” Discuss sanctification and how the Holy Spirit transforms us into the image of Christ.