The Johnson house has a longstanding love/hate relationship with August. We love what the school year brings: cooler weather, a consistent schedule and even college football. But we hate that it means the end of the carefree days of summer.
And we really hate that it means that we have to navigate the many events, deadlines and hoops that others require us to jump through. Ultimately, for your family and ours, it means that we are about to get crazy busy.
In the middle of all the craziness, we want to encourage you to consistently remember a few things. You would do well to remind your kids of these things, as well.
*Being busy isn't necessarily a good thing. God often speaks of the value of rest and silence. Don't think that because you're being busy that you're being successful. It might be just the opposite.
*Grades are important, but they're not the only thing that matters. Too many kids are experiencing significant emotional trauma because of unrealistic academic pressure. Your teenager might not get into Harvard, but it's going to be okay.
*Kids (and parents) need sleep to stay healthy (and sane). Don't push yourselves so hard that you make yourselves useless for anything useful.
*If your "activities" schedule leaves no margin to connect with God or to connect in meaningful ways with your spouse, then you need to dump a few activities. If your last meaningful date night was in 2015, then something is wrong.
*Finally, remember that the purpose of our lives is to glorify God. Period. Some people think that their abilities and achievements are there for their own fame. As if their success declares to the world that they are significant. Not true.
As I watch the Olympics this week, I'm inspired by those athletes who give glory to God and find their identity in Him. (Did you see the U.S. synchronized divers' story?) For those decorated athletes who have given their lives only to their sport, I worry about what they will do once their 15 minutes of glorious fame is over.
As parents, we must be diligent to teach our kids that each and every platform they have—school, sports, work, play—is exclusively an opportunity to point people to Jesus. If our kids lose sight of that, their energies are wasted on things that ultimately don't matter. Because nothing else matters in light of eternity.
Adapted from infoforfamilies.com, a ministry founded by Barrett and Jenifer Johnson. After serving in the local church for 25 years, Barrett and Jenifer launched INFO for Families as a ministry designed to encourage people through speaking, personal coaching and resource development. Barrett served for 15 years in youth ministry before serving for eight years as the Family Minister at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Atlanta, one of the largest churches in the South. He has degrees from Texas A&M University and Southwestern Seminary, but he and Jenifer have received their best education through the no-holds-barred nature of everyday family life.
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