With a 21- and 19-year old, we’re on the cusp of figuring out if our experiment worked.
Were all those dollars and hours we invested in sports worth it?
Did they really learn how to wash their own clothes and pick up after themselves?
Were we so strict that they rebelled or never had to own their own decisions?
Were we too lenient?
Did we monitor their phone usage enough?
Does it even matter?
I could spend the 450 words of a blog with unanswered questions from my parenting journey.
But the one thing that was a definite win was a decision that Chris and I made as our son and daughter started high school. We committed to each get a wide-margin Bible and spend the next few years using those Bibles for our priority times and writing something intentional from the passage in the margin of every page… the idea being that upon their graduation from high school, they’d each receive a Bible with 1,000 pages worth of letters from one of us, pulling out a truth to apply to their life or writing out a prayer around the theme of a particular chapter. So, Chris wrote one for Mark and I wrote one for Annika.
After hearing the things my son and daughter say about these two Bibles, I’m thinking it might be the best thing we ever did as parents. Don’t get me wrong – it was a major commitment! Now that they’re in college, Chris and I have swapped. I’m now working on a Bible for Mark and Chris is working on a Bible for Annika. I’m only 175 pages in (just finishing Numbers) and I’m realizing that I’ll need to average three pages a day to complete it by Mark’s college graduation. No pressure!
When I started my first one for Annika, there were days when I wondered if it would ever be put to good use. This time I know the answer and it adds to my resolve to prioritize the extra time each day, knowing it will allow my voice to speak into my adult children’s lives even when I’m not around.
If you have younger children, it’s never too early to start… and a slower pace is definitely encouraged! It took me 2½ years to finish Annika’s, but I can truly say God has blessed every moment that I invested in it. And because His Word does not return void, I know that it will continue to reap a harvest. The reality is that not every child heads to college disciplined to spend time in God’s Word daily… but when they’re away from home, there’s definitely an extra incentive to open it up when they know there’s also a letter from mom or dad waiting to encourage them.
I can’t encourage you enough to go get a nice wide-margin Bible and begin to leave your children (or grandchildren) a legacy.