The Two Most Important Lessons You Will Ever Teach Your Kids

Little hand reaches

Bullet Point: used to draw attention to important information within a document so that a reader can identify the key issues and facts quickly. (

Not long ago a bullet point in the book of James thrust a magnifying glass in my face. It cried out, “Do you see THIS?!”

I don’t understand how God’s word can speak. But as sure as my rear end is parked on this pillow it does. Mark Batterson called it the “inaudible but undeniable voice of God.” Whatever vocabulary or description we choose to assign the phenomena, I can only testify to the truth. He speaks.

On this particular occasion God whispered an answer to a question I ask Him often. “What is the most important thing I can teach my kids?” Oh I know. There are the givens. As Christians we recognize the fallen state of things…the planet,politics, and people (it goes without saying that top on the list of fallen people is myself.)

Teaching our children about Jesus, the redeemer of all that’s fallen, is priority number one. When our precious children come into the world we lay their tiny heads on pillows with inscriptions about being a lamb of Jesus. We play lullaby hymns so that they will sleep sound in Jesus. We buy them their first Bible. You know the kind I’m talking about. It’s two inches thick but only has 8 pages because each one is a 1/4 inch slab of cardboard. We’ve done the most important thing. We’ve taught them that we all fall short but that Jesus loves, forgives and saves.

But then what?

Our three teenage Darlings have to make hard choices every day. On the “magnifying glass thrust in my face day”, I was ruminating on how to help them in their choices. What wisdom or sure-fire guideline could I give them? Was there a slick trick or ready-to-use tool could I place in their hearts? The book of James made it clear.

Bullet Point #1… Reach.

“…reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight.” James 1:27

Doc says it all the time. “The quickest road to happiness is to serve others.” As our kids enter the world and make decisions about how to conduct themselves and what to become involved in, James is quick to remind us that “right living” will always be characterized by serving others.

Bullet Point #2…Refrain.

“…guard against corruption from the godless world.” James 1:27

We all get to make choices about what we WILL DO. James makes it clear that it’s equally important to make good choices about what we WON’T DO.

Could it really be that simple?

On a Sunday,not long after my bullet-point-to-the-head-epiphany, our fam sat around the living floor. Doc and I shared the words of wisdom from James. The Darlings went through the motions with Mom and Dad. We literally reached out with our hands and then brought our hands to our chests. We repeated the words together, “Reach and refrain.” Doc concluded, “That’s it guys. Keep it simple. Reach & refrain. If you can remember that. You’ll do just fine.”

Oh, how I give thanks for opportunities to teach because in the teaching I learn. You can bet your bippy that of late, this DoAhead Woman has whispered to self  “reach & refrain” on more than one occasion!

“Anyone who sets himself up as ‘religious’ by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.” James 1:26-27 MSG

Your DoAhead Friend,

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