In his book, Parenting Beyond Your Capacity, Reggie Joiner recounts the story of a father who was experiencing the difficulty of raising a rebellious 16-year-old girl. Exasperated in his attempts to try and correct the misaligned behavior, the father went to his pastor to seek out some advice. The father recounted his many attempts at disciplining his daughter and furthermore, reiterated his commitment to making sure she went to church each week.
Almost without hesitation, the pastor responded. He said to the weary father:
“I think what your daughter is doing is choosing a better story. . . We’re all designed to live inside a story. Your daughter was designed to play a role in a story. In the story she has chosen, there is risk, adventure, and pleasure. She is wanted and she is desired. In your story, she’s yelled at, she feels guilty, and she feels unwanted. She’s just choosing a story that is better than the one you’re providing. Plus, in the midst of placing her in an awful story, you make her go to church. So, you’re associating a bad, boring story with God, who has a great story. Don’t do that anymore. You have to tell a better story.”
Parents, are you telling a better story to your kids than the many stories the world is selling? The reality is there is no better story than the one God tells about His infinite and unending love towards us. In Psalm 78 the Psalmist exhorts, “I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done” (vs. 2-4).
The gospel and all of its implications create the most compelling story you can communicate to your child. So are you telling that story? How are you telling that story? What things have you set up in the rhythms of your life, in the habits of your family routine to see this story played out?
As you may know, we are in the midst of Serve Week. Serve Week at Mercy Hill is a strategic time to put the story of God’s love on display. Serving others puts you and your family at the center of God’s story as you fulfill His mission together. It gives your kids a chance to roll up their sleeves, get messy, lift something heavy, do something for someone in need, feel purpose, and build new relationships. There are several opportunities for your family to serve together over the next six months: we have another serve week on May 14-20 and a Serve Saturday on July 29. So, start planning to get your family involved today! Check out this link for some info on the areas in which we are involved: http://mercyhillgso.com/localmissions/
-Jeremy Dager (Age-based Ministry Pastor)