Friday, February 26, 2016

Be a Milestone Celebrator!

When I think of celebrating milestones in a child's life, I think of two things. First of all I think about the idea a child has made a decision, or done something, or grown to a point where a milestone in their life has been reached. These are truly important moments and worthy of being celebrated, but in far too many instances we are all too busy to stop and notice and celebrate. 

The second thing I think about is the family. A milestone in a child's life is also a milestone in a family's life as well. Often the family had a big part to "play"  in the child reaching their milestone so the celebration is one not only for the child, but also for the family as well. 

So, what milestones should we celebrate? How should we celebrate? How do we even make sure we take time to notice as our grandchildren reach milestones, and then celebrate it with them? How does celebrating milestones help us equip and train our grandchildren as we walk alongside them and help them reach their milestones? 

When you look in the Bible you see the people of Israel were "milestone celebrators"! They seemed to understand the significance of milestones and took the time to celebrate them! God often told His people to celebrate their milestones . . . for example, in Joshua 4:5-7, 20-24 we see when they crossed the Jordan River, as they entered the Promise Land, God told the people, 
"Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever. . . . In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’  For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God. Milestones and celebrations help "cement" moments and decisions and serve as a "stone" of remembrance . . . they can help our children "remember" what God has done in their lives and help them "remember" God!
The passages we first think of when we consider our God-given responsibility and joy of teaching and leading our grandchildren are likely Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 78 and Ephesians 6, as they tell us how important it is for us to be the primary teachers of our grandchildren, so they grow up "remembering" God. We want our grandchildren to know and remember God - Psalm 78 shows us the tragedy of lives where they forgot God. We want our grandchildren to know and remember God . . . this is one of the most important things we can do as grandparents. 

Parents and grandparents are to be the primary teachers of their children and grandchildren - they are to teach them in every aspect of their lives . . . when we combine this teaching with celebrating as milestones are reached, it will have a powerful and lasting impact on our grandchildren! Celebrating milestones help to reinforce the importance of decisions and growth in a child's life and are well worth the time it takes to celebrate well!

Next week I'll write about some of the milestones we can celebrate with our grandchilren . . . what are milestones you have celebrated?

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