Have you shopped for backpacks lately?
Whether you are a parent with a bushel of kids that need a bushel of backpacks or someone that cares about kids who need some help getting their back to school supplies, I want to share this amazing story with you because there is someone that needs your help and I’m not talking about money either.
Have you seen all the features and options available on the lowly backpack?
They come with rollers, but many schools don’t allow them. They come with drink holders and pockets, compartments of all sizes and a little hamster that does their homework for them.
OK, so maybe you haven’t found the hamster model, but I’m sure you’ve seen the dazzling and bank account draining options that are available.
Parents and grandparents buy them at the beginning of the school year, even adults use them for back packing and hiking. We stuff our ever present companion, the phone and the computer in them. Still few people would describe them as life saving, although they are working on a life saving version right now! But “life saving” is exactly what Meesh Hytner’s parents call the backpack they gave their daughter for Christmas!” They will forever be thankful that they gave that backpack to her. Let me explain.
Meesch is an avid snowboarder. On January 25th she was snowboarding in the back country near Montezuma, Colorado when an avalanche sent snow thundering down her path. It could have been fatal. Often, people are buried under the snow and die. But Meesch was wearing her backpack. Thinking clearly she deployed her BCA Float 30 avalanche airbag inside that special backpack, which kept her from being buried alive. Her parents had wisely given their child what was needed to face the inherent dangers of snowboarding. That backpack became her life pack.
Every child needs…
I’m not referring to the Oakley Kitchen Sink Backpack (Now that’s a big backpack!) or even the High Sierra Fat Boy Backpack; both with five star rating. (Can you believe those crazy names for backpacks?) I’m not even referring to the BCA Float 30 avalanche backpack that is saving lives on snow slopes around the world (not in Florida, but other places). Can you pack something into the heart of your child (or maybe someone’s else’s child too?) that they can draw from when they face danger or challenges.
Like a life pack…
that says I’ve got your back. You can add more than three things; but here are three essential things they need to carry with them their entire lives.
And this is where all my readers enter this post
Especially if you are a parent. Your children need you to pack it for them. No one can do it the way you do it. Even if they don’t know it, they need it. So you need to go FULL-ON looking for ways little ones and big ones to pack in their backpacks. I’ve listed a few ideas for you. Be sure you understand they need these essential regardless of their age, but the sooner they get them the better.
If you’re not a parent, there are children, teenagers and even adults, for that matter ,in your neighborhood, on your street and in your grocery store with empty life packs, without the survival skills they need for life. While you can’t pack their life pack, you can point them to Jesus, and you can tuck a little something in their heart at every opportunity. So always be looking and listening to the voice of Precious Holy Spirit.
1. Unconditional love.
Tell them you love them.
Show them you love them in ways that communicate love and value to that child.
Pray that they will feel loved.Touch them.
Listen to them.Make eye contact when you listen.
Help them know that they are loved by God. Be sure that they KNOW they don’t have to earn your love or God’s love.
Help them understand love is freely given, but they must receive it in order to enjoy it.
2. Faith that is modeled.
Someone can’t argue away your faith, when you have seen and experienced it personally. When you see faith guiding and working and living in your home everyday, it leaves an impression. I’m not saying you have to be a perfect parent, but when you fail–admit it and repent.
Let them see you pray.
Make church attendance a priority.
Be an example of a believer in word, conversation, love and truth.
Pray strategically and specifically for them and with them.
3. God’s Word.
Make Jesus a priority.
Deliberately plant and cultivate the seed of God’s Word in their hearts.
Read the Bible with them.
Memorize Scripture together.
Play Christian music.
Teach them the Scriptures; explain the principles of the Scriptures so they understand them. Teach strategically.
Plug them into groups that will build their faith and virtues.
Hopefully your church family and ministry staff will invest and reinforce what you are doing at home, but they will never be able to give them what you can.
Deuteronomy 11:19 NIV
“Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home
and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up.”
It’s your job to equip your child.
You can buy the coolest backpack, but you can’t buy the most important backpack.
Yes, equipping a life pack is expensive.
Yes, it will cost you time. You’ll pay with commitment and creativity.
Please, don’t let your child face the challenges of life without the most important backpack ever!
An important part of equipping our children is praying with and for them.Here are just a couple that I’ve prayed over my children through the years.
Rooted in God’s Love
Father, I pray that out of Your glorious riches You will strengthen ________ with power through Your Spirit in their inner being. I pray that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith. And I pray that they, being rooted and established in love, may have your power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. I pray that they will know Your love that surpasses knowledge–that they may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Father, I recognize that You are able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Adapted from Ephesians 3:16-21
I ask you to teach my children the things they need to know for life and godliness. Remind me of the things they have learned and give them the power to live those things out in their everyday life. (John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. )
Father, help my children to be wise, because the wise are cautious and avoid danger. Proverbs 14:16 NLT The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with great confidence.