In Proverbs 22:6 it is written… “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”  That means parents are to be purposeful in raising their children… which is more than taking them to church.  Purposeful parenting is found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9… (Focus on verse 7 for purposeful parenting)

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Last week I saw an example of what children do on their own when their parents raise them purposefully.  Trey, Britton, and I met Gabe and Dawn on a mission trip to Costa Rica last Summer.  Gabe and Dawn are loving, joyful, and purposeful Christians who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and might.  They have three children under the age of 9.

When Gabe and Dawn’s children heard about the tornado destruction in Birmingham, they wanted to give to help the victims.  Thus I received three beautiful colored cards with their gifts enclosed.

Those three precious children… being raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord by their parents… gave joyfully and generously!  Their oldest child… a precious young lady age 9… gave $20.00.  Then the twins… both age 4… gave $35 and $44.00.  Those three children gave $99.00!  The oldest’s art work is pictured to the left (Note the tornado).

Why would these three kids… all under age 9… give so generously?  Because the parents are following Proverbs 22:6, Deuteronomy 6:7, and Ephesians 6:4b.  Gabe and Dawn are being purposeful in raising them.

As I have shared this story at the church, many have been encouraged to give more themselves.  Like me, they have realized that as adults we can be spurred on to greater faith and giving by others… including children.  I am thankful to know Gabe and Dawn.  One day three others will be blessed to marry these kids… and the faith will be passed to another generation.