Saturday, July 26, 2014

Train Up A Child: Marti O'Rear

Marti O'Rear is the Children's Minister at the Greenville Oaks Church of Christ. Marti graduated from Pepperdine University and has been a significant leader in the field of Children's Ministry for several years. I first learned about Marti's ministry to children and families when I attended the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, TX. I can't wait to partner with Marti as we seek to lead families and children to follow Jesus at Greenville Oaks.

I remember when I was a young parent and people would say, "Back in my day, it was just easier to raise my kids." Now that my daughters are grown and I am observing the lives of so many young parents, I think I can honestly say, "Back in my day, it was a whole lot easier to raise my kids." 

Please understand I am not assuming we did it better, but I believe we were not faced with as many challenges that families face today and I commend the families who are keeping a balance in their lives on behalf of their children and their family structure.

Obviously over the years since my children have grown, technology has expanded in a way that can be completely wonderful and tremendously challenging at the same time. Parents are having to make decisions as to when to introduce electronics or digital devices to be used for entertainment, communication, and education. They are having to monitor what and how it is used. The greater difficulty of it is that as adults, we also are having to learn to monitor ourselves for it indeed can get in the way of time and quality conversation taking place with our spouses and our children. It is not an easy task because we are faced daily if not hourly with the challenges of it in our work and in our homes. But from what I observe about many of our parents through actions and conversation, they are tackling the challenges. They are not allowing this to invade their desire to raise and help their children to know who God is in their lives. 

Recently in our children’s Bible classes, we talked about young king Josiah and the impact he had through reminding his people of following God one more time. He rid the country of the idols and when they discovered the Book of Law as they were attempting to rebuild the temple, he made sure it was read to the people to draw them back to God’s ways. I love what is said about Josiah: “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.” 

May we continue to guide our children in God’s plan for them. For indeed, He does have a plan for each of them. May we not allow the challenges of life to cause us to veer to the left or to the right, but walk the path that keeps our family close to God.

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