By Beth Groh
My idealistic side…visions of teens cheerfully deep cleaning the house and organizing the garage.
My realistic side …keeping TV and/or video games to a bare minimum.
That’s why my ears perked when I heard of a practical, yet creative, project for our boys to tackle.
It’s a do-it-yourself mechanical device for making pulp fire briquettes out of scrap paper, grass clippings, and dried leaves. Compact and free fake “firewood” for urban dwellers.
OK, so it doesn’t sound very glamorous. In fact, it’s downright obscure.
But it is practical. And that’s where my heart is as a mom these days for our children: Prepare them for the unexpected.
We live in a city prone to weather extremes—tornadoes, ice storms, hail and recently, earthquakes. So we’ve learned the hard way the inconvenience of going days without a heating source. (Small suburban lots offer slim pickings for firewood. These little “bricks” are a mini insurance policy.)
A lesson in physics, engineering, and carpentry? Yes. A lesson in instilling “ownership” for providing emergency provisions for our family? Yes. A little creative fun? Yes.
Spiritual applications? You bet.
Our goal as Christian parents should be preparing our children to face this life, yes, but also keeping a foot in God’s kingdom. I call it parenting for eternity.
We need to teach our children to face life’s unexpected hardships, not only physical ones, but spiritual ones that could challenge them in tomorrow’s faith walk. We must teach them to see what is unseen. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
While the idealist in me wants to imagine a world where our three children will have a better, easier life, the realist in me sees a global economy stretched too far, and a culture that is increasingly hostile to a biblical worldview.
We could ignore the warning signs—certainly a tempting notion.
Or we could face them head on and start asking ourselves—and our children—tough questions.
For us, it started with a simple, “What if we were without power for more than a week?” We brainstormed our answer.
What would our answer be to this one…“What if someday you lived a time when you would be an outcast to express your faith? Or faced trials like the first century Christians? How would you stand?”
Ouch… tough questions. But brainstorming an answer, guided by Scripture, may prepare them to better face the uncertainties of tomorrow.