So, the other day I was playing a video game with my son. It had a Minecraft-style of play. Just in case there is anyone reading this that does not know what Minecraft is, let me explain. Minecraft is often described as a ‘sandbox game’. This means that it’s a virtual land where players can create their own worlds, using building blocks and resources they both discover in the game and create.
Ok, back to my story, my son and I were in this game building a house. We had completed the first floor and as we began working on the ceiling, laying blocks from one side to the next, the partially-complete ceiling collapsed, falling to the ground and breaking every block we had painstakingly worked to create. Ok…so maybe painstakingly is a bit of an exaggeration, but pressing buttons on an Xbox controller can work up a sweat. We both let out a groan and said, “What happened?” As we examined the steps we had taken to get to this point, it became obvious we had tried to build a ceiling with nothing to support it; no pillars, no beams, nothing.
One of my favorite things about my Heavenly Father is that I don’t have to be in a church service to hear from Him, I can be playing a video game with my son. This was a reminder to me to be diligent with my children, to be purposeful in letting my ceiling become their floor. It is easy in the day-to-day grind to forget how important that is; to be mindful of my children’s future. So, what are the pillars you are putting in place not to build your ceiling, but that floor that allows your kids to grow beyond you to new heights?
The one thing I constantly remind my kids about is that they cannot grow on my relationship with the Lord. They have to build their own relationship and find their own passion. Do they read the Bible and pray because you tell them to or because they want to? What about a financial pillar and a cooking pillar? Do they leave the house not knowing how to balance a checkbook or boil water? Do they know what it takes to get a job or keep one for that matter? I think I spent more money getting my son ready for his interview at Fareway and on the items he needed for the job than he will actually make the entire time he will work there, but it was worth every penny. I could go on with pillars but there is only so much space in this blog. Suffice to say, take the time to talk to your spouse and to the Holy Spirit and find out what is important not just to you, but to your children’s future.
The one thing that has given my wife and I the edge in this area is having raised two boys who are now out on their own doing life. We have the experience gleaned from them which we now use to raise the other four that are still hanging around. We have had the older sons say, “You never did that with us,” and, “How come they got that and we didn’t?” After hugging them and telling them how amazing they turned out, we let them know that we did not have someone to teach us this stuff and although we had learned so much from raising them, there are areas where we fell short and pillars that did not get put in place. The amazing thing is, Father is not just the God of Salvation, but an expert builder as well and he has shown us how to “jack up” my sons’ foundations and put some of those missing pillars into place and repair those that needed it.
Let me encourage you to take the time, not only to examine your foundation and the pillars you have in place, but see which ones are missing. What does your child’s future look like? What will they be building on and how high can they go? It’s never too late to repair, even if they are grown and gone. Oh, and maybe go play a game with your kid, you never know what the Lord with show you.