Top Button Truths
The hallway was packed, but Heather seemed oblivious to the crowds jostling around us. She was new to the church, visiting at the invitation of a friend. We chit-chatted for a moment, but the small talk changed dramatically when I asked what she hoped to gain by worshipping with us at Southeast.
Tears filled her eyes, and she said, “Dave, I just want my kids to grow up and love the Lord.”
Heather is not alone. Plenty of people want faith for their family.
Parents look in a lot of different directions to ensure that the spiritual baton is passed on to their children. Some, like Heather, rely on the church or a Christian school. Others will turn to close relatives, camp, or a parenting book.
I commend those choices; they can all be helpful. But there’s a better place to begin.
If you want your kids to grow up to love the Lord, it all starts with . . .
Have you ever gotten to work, or church, or your kid’s school play, only to look down and realize that your shirt or blouse is buttoned the wrong way?
It’s a minor embarrassment, but it’s also a metaphor for spiritual truth. If you start at the top and work your way down, the rest of the process comes quite naturally. But if you button the top one wrong, things will be skewed from the start. You can keep on buttoning, but eventually you’ll have to start over. It pays to start right from the beginning.
For some, this book is a chance to start over from the top. For others, it’s positive reinforcement to stay the course.
In this book you’ll find practical suggestions and creative ideas that will be helpful to you, regardless of your family dynamics. You’ll have a chance to get refocused on those “top-button” truths, the principles that make all the difference in your own spiritual life and in the lives of your children. You’ll learn that when your heart truly beats for the Lord, when godly living is your priority, it becomes more natural for your children to embrace faith—real faith.
I know you’re thinking it, so go ahead and ask: “Who is this guy, anyway? What makes him such an expert? What gives him any wisdom for my family?”
Well, let me just say right up front that I am not a child psychologist. I do not have a counseling degree.
I am a parent, and a Christian. I love the Lord.
And I’ve survived.
Does it feel that way sometimes, that all you can do as a parent is survive? I’ve felt that, too. But I’ve also experienced those awesome moments of watching our children come to believe and trust in God. I’ve seen a little faith become a fire; I’ve seen them mature and settle into their own personal faith. I’ve watched them grow up to love the Lord.
By the grace of God, my wife Beth and I have raised two well-adjusted daughters who love the Lord, and a teen-age son who shows every sign of following that path. All three of our kids are looked up to by Christians and non-Christians alike.
I say that not with arrogance, but with deep gratitude to the Lord . . . and to Beth.
For years we’ve had home Bible Studies with couples in their twenties and thirties. They all ask the same questions:
• Why do your kids enjoy talking about spiritual things?
• How do you get Sam to look people in the eyes and speak to them?
• How did Savannah keep her faith during college?
And our answer is always the same: we raised our kids to love the Lord, to value others, and to use their gifts for Him.
So when Heather said to me, “I just want my children to love the Lord,” something stirred in my soul. Because that’s my daily prayer for my own family. And it’s also my passion for other families as well, to help parents pass on to their children a fervent and authentic love for God, and a genuine relationship with Christ.