Recently I got to thinking about how I’m preparing her for that step. She’ll go in with lots of laughs and good memories under her belt, yes, but will she have a strong foundation of knowledge and security on which she can build her life? I came up with five foundational truths I hope to instill in her by the time she starts school.
1. God is good. This is really the most important truth in the universe, and if we deep-down believe it, all the other pieces fit together. I want my daughter to understand that God is good, and that everything He does is good. It’s our vision that’s often skewed.
When she starts school, she will undoubtedly be faced with struggles and situations that are new to her. I pray her faith is stronger than the questions, the doubts, the fears, and that no matter what darkness she encounters, she knows God is good and that the broken pieces somehow create a masterpiece.
2. Her family will ALWAYS be here for her. I want her to know that she knows that she knows she has unshakeable love and security in her family. We are her people. And though we’re broken and imperfect, we will be here for her every day that she lives. When she messes up. When her friends hurt her feelings. When she gets cut from the team. Her family is here for her and there is nothing that will ever change that.
3. She is perfectly created, unique, and special. I want her to know she’s a one-of-a-kind creation, made exactly the way God wanted her. He gave her her personality, her temperament, her gifts, abilities, and sensitivities because He wants to use her in a special way for a special purpose only she can fulfill.
4. We should love our neighbors as ourselves. To be honest, this is a tough one because it’s probably “caught” more than “taught.” Does she see her daddy and me loving our neighbors without reserve? Do we give freely? Do we speak kindly and view all men as image bearers of God? I hope she can say yes because this is our desire. And we pray she learns to do the same. Even the bully at school. Even the person who looks or smells different. May she love them the way Jesus does.
5. The reason we live is to bring glory to God. I want her to know that our purpose in life is to bring glory and honor to our Creator. It’s the only reason we’re living and breathing on this earth. It’s the reason we get up in the morning, the reason we get married and have children, the reason we go to school or to work, the reason we love our neighbors, use our gifts, and enjoy our families. He is the purpose of it all. I want her to know that everything she does has eternal value so nothing in life is meaningless.
Obviously, my job as a parent is just beginning. I still have years to continue teaching and instilling these truths. But I do see her starting school as a milestone that provides a checkpoint for me to evaluate how I’m doing as a parent. And reflecting on these truths is good for my soul, too. If I believe these with unwavering firmness it can’t help but rub off on my children. My hope and prayer is that they are receiving a solid foundation at home so that “Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock” (Matthew 7:25).