Life At Its Best: Raising champions

By Jim Graff
May 11, 2012 at 12:11 a.m.

Jim Graff

Jim Graff

As the youngest in my family, I witnessed quite a few spankings. Unfortunately, I was often not only the witness, but the recipient, as well.

In fact, I got spanked so often, that I got to the point I could tell they were coming. The routine went something like this: First, I'd see the all-too familiar look from Mom that let me know I was in trouble. Then, I'd watch as my 5-foot 6-inch, 150-pound dad came walking toward me, suddenly seeming more like he was 7 feet tall and 385 pounds.

Finally, as he took off his belt, he would look me in the eye and say, "Son, this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you."

I didn't understand that statement back then, but now I do. In fact, I've used it on my own kids. The truth is that, as parents, we don't like bringing our kids pain any more than they like experiencing it.

But the Bible tells us in Proverbs that a failure to discipline our children is a failure to properly love them. Discipline is evidence of love. Yes, it may bring them momentary pain, but, in the end, it will save them from experiencing the pain sin brings down the road.

Just as we have been called to discipline our kids physically, we've also been called to discipline them spiritually.

Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go." Think about how professional athletes are trained. They're not expected to improve solely from hearing lectures or watching film of other great players because, though teaching and establishing examples is important, it's not enough.

Trainers must constantly watch over their athletes, helping them make small adjustments that enable them to reach their full potential.

We have the same job as parents. One of our greatest callings is to train our kids to be successful in the life God has for them. Sure, some of that training involves getting them in church and giving them examples and teachings to follow.

But proper training requires more than that. We must constantly watch over the lives of our kids, helping them make changes that will bring blessing down the road.

A study was recently conducted to determine how kids spend the majority of their time. Results showed that if we bring our kids to church every Sunday, they spend only one percent of their time in church. If they go to school for 12 years, they spend 18 percent in school. That leaves 80 percent of their lives that could be spent at home, with us. So how will you use that time?

I encourage you to, first of all, enjoy it. Spend time laughing, loving on and hanging out with your kids. But also remember that you've been given the privilege of being their personal trainer.

Help them make adjustments along the way that will help prepare them for the future. If you take this role seriously, you'll set them up to become champions, successfully living out the blessed life God has for them.

Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria.



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