4) They empowered my maturity
My parents set a standard in our house. While they gave me a childhood and provided opportunity for me to enjoy life as a kid, they also began to expect maturity from me. They realized this wasn't an overnight process and the level of maturity expected increased as the years went on.
Failing wasn't a doom and gloom experience; instead it was the perfect opportunity to teach and empower me to do better and mature. Not only was I expected to mature in responsibility and attitude, but also spiritually! Hearing from God on my own and developing a personal relationship with God apart from my parents' relationship was something I cherish.
I was blessed to grow up in a safe and spiritually strong atmosphere, but they didn't let me "ride on their coattails" forever. Emphasis wasn't just placed on outward maturity, but also on that inward and spiritual maturity.
5) They loved.
This fact is the fuel that continually increases my love and honor for my parents. Not only did they love me, which was clear to see, but their love for others was boundless! They counseled, imparted, nurtured, and went above and beyond their calling as pastors to see their friends, congregation and even those who were dishonorable feel the presence of God in the here and now.
There were no bitter words and no complaining even after hours spent after their long day pouring out for others. Graciously feeding unexpected guests, regardless of whether or not we could afford it, was just one way my parents demonstrated how to truly "love." It's not a feeling, an ideal, or a state of mind. Love is a nitty gritty decision that we make to live outside of ourselves, putting our flesh to death, and opening up our heart, our life and even our pantry for others to experience the reality of our great God!
Bailey Riza is a young, passionate, up-and-coming voice in the music industry. A worship leader, songwriter and recording artist, she has a wealth of experience and a dynamic approach to teaching and leading. She is a member of the Faith Alive Band and travels throughout North America performing and ministering in many different arenas. Her songs have been featured on the Faith Alive Show as well as on Daystar Television Network. Her latest EP, Coming Alive, topped the iTunes charts in Canada! She was born and raised in Saskatoon, Sk, Canada, and attends Faith Alive Family Church, where her parents are senior pastors. She loves her family, church and country and has a zeal to see this generation experience a powerful outpouring of God's presence.
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