Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and friends,
Steve here… February 17 is “Family Day” in Ontario. The government calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years of age in a typical middle income family in North America to be $160,140. That doesn’t include the cost of post-secondary education. I have three kids who are currently in University and I assure you—it affects your bank account. But $16,140 isn’t too bad if you break it down. It works out to: $8896 per year, or $741.38 per month, or $171.08 per week, or $24.24 per day, or just over $1 per hour. The key is not to look at it as a cost, but an investment. Our investment will hopefully result in great dividends in the lives of our children.
What qualities should we be investing in our children? For me, the following are five non-negotiables:
· The first quality to build into our children is confidence.
o Help them feel good about whom God has made them.
· The second quality to build into our children is character.
o Their decisions would honour God and their parent(s).
· The third quality to build into our children is conviction.
o Their beliefs are rooted in God’s Word. The danger is to produce kids with character, but no conviction.
· The fourth quality to build into our children is competence.
o Help them learn their gifts, talents, and skills, and give them opportunities to use and improve them.
· The fifth quality to build into our children is compassion.
o Help them see beyond themselves to the needs around them, in their neighbourhood and beyond.
One Fellowship pastor concerned about helping parents wrote a book entitled The ABC’s of Parenting. Pastor Steve Boctor (Huron Park Baptist, Woodstock ON) writes a very practical book that outlines 26 essential lessons on building a healthy and happy home. Go online to Steve’s website to get a copy along with a study guide. Another Fellowship pastor, Dr. Charles Stone (West Park, London, ON) wrote, Daughters Gone Wild, Dads Gone Crazy. This practical guide provides battle-tested tips from a father and daughter who survived the teenage years. Both books are excellent.
I trust you will hug your loved ones today, and give thanks to God for your family.
Have a blessed week,
Our 2014 Fellowship theme verse is:
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13 :35 (NLT)
P.S. Our current FAIR project is an aid program to change the trajectory families in the slums of Kolkata, India. Click here to get more details. Consider consider making this an Easter offering in your church. See the current winter edition of Thrive, our national magazine (click here) to see further details on our current FAIR Kolkata, India project.