Does Your Child Have A GPS?
Joey and Carla Link
As a young man in boy scouts, I learned to read maps as we went backpacking in the High Sierra Mountains. It was essential to know which trail to take to get to our destination. Today, reading and learning to interpret maps has given way to the much easier GPS to help us find our way and destination. The GPS was a big novelty when it first came out. My wife is fond of saying we almost got divorced (just kidding) when I woke her up from a nap, threw a map at her and told her to tell me what freeway to take as I was driving into New York City during rush hour traffic! When we got our first GPS for the van (we named her Judy), Carla shouted “Hallelujah!” and threw the Atlas in the back of the van, rarely to be seen again.
If only I had a friend like Judy to lead me through life. There are times I would gladly let her make the decision for me. I might argue with her once she tells me where to go, but at least I would have some indication of which direction to take. Upon hearing me say this, any of my children would remind me I now have a GPS on my phone, not to mention the internet where I could google up the answer to every question I have. In the world today, from young adults down to kids, their phone is the first place they go when they want to find an answer.
Wait a minute – I DO have a guidebook to get me through life! God left mankind a GPS thousands of years ago, and it is even better than Google! In Psalm 119:9-11 King David says, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your word.” Whose word? God’s Word! The Bible won’t tell you where to find the closest Wal-Mart when you are traveling, but it does answer all questions about the way we should live.
David goes on to say, “I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.” (verse 10) Is this true of your child? Is it true of you? Will God’s Word keep your kids honest or will friends, peers, entertainment and other things of the world turn off their Biblical GPS and take them off course?
As a young boy I memorized Psalm 119:11 and it has been my GPS throughout my life,
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
I remember a pastor once saying, “God’s Word will either keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from God’s Word.” Do your kids have a Quiet Time every day? There are so many excellent resources for devotionals for all ages, there is no excuse not to. When your older kids have a daily Quiet Time/Devotions with no reminders from you, then you will know they own the need to make God’s Word their true GPS.
I encourage you to read the Bible to your kids regularly. Have family devotions around the dinner table several nights a week. It only needs to take 10 minutes! You just need to get into the habit of doing it. On Saturday night in our house I asked everyone in the family to share what they had learned in their devotions that week. We had lively discussions as a result. Have a contest to see who can memorize the most verses in a 2-week period of time. Take the winner out for ice cream. Ideas to put God’s Word into the hearts of your children are endless.
“Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”