Watching baby dedication last Sunday at my church always stirs emotion for me … Happiness of seeing friends grow their families. Conviction to assist them in guiding their children toward Christ. Empathy of seeing what they’re going through. You name it. One kid first service screamed in his little blue tie until his mom flipped him upside down to calm him. Another baby spit up on her older sister second service, making big sis crinkle her nose and mat her hair about 15 different ways. These children, all in desperate need of love and attention, were dedicated Sunday. Their parents and our congregation alike pledged to raise these little ones to know, respect, and love God. What an awesome responsibility! This calling is clearly outlined below in Psalm 127: 3-5.
Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
Pointing my little ones at home to Christ is an easy one. I can freely cite scripture, pray with them, read stories from their Bible, and instill Christian morals and values in them. I do my best to spend quality time with them when I am home, even taking them out on one-on-one “special days” with daddy. Last Friday I took my oldest to the pool while my wife stayed home with our youngest and played with him. I wore my four-year-old out! That kid was chucking his little rubber duck across the pool, dogpaddling out to snag it, my hands waiting calmly to catch him if he began to sink. I was his support net. He trusted me with all his heart to be there for him, and my three-year-old is already chomping at the bit for his turn to have a “special day” this week.
These moments are easy to minister to my boys, but what about my “kids” at school? Problem: I can’t cite scripture. Problem: I only have them for 49 minutes a day. Problem: there are 20 to 26 of them, all desperately craving my attention. Problem: Praying with them is out of the question. Ah yes, little creativity is needed! And I could go on and on with that list, but the truth of the matter is that many times I will indeed refer to my students as my kids, and some of these kids NEED teachers to reach out. Much like my son trusted me on Friday to be his support net in the pool, we are that support net for our students in need. I’m talking about kids from broken families. Kids whose parents work three jobs and just aren’t around. Kids whose safe place is that short stint of time with you.
God doesn’t want us to take our students for granted. A new song from Jason Gray reminds me of this. The lyrics of “With Every Act of Love” speak so much truth when they call out “God put a million million doors in the world for His love to walk through. One of those doors is you.” There are countless creative ways that we can make a difference. We can indeed open doors of love for students every day, every hour. Just think of the ways you can reach out! Listening to their problems. Giving them a high five in the hallway. Taking the time to watch their extra-curricular activities. Praising them for their successes, whether it be verbally or through a quick note. The kids you have right now will only be in your class for another month. Make the most of that month! Be an inspiration to them. Finish strong. Let the legacy of your love stay with that kid.
(How do you reach out to your students? Add a reply below! Share ideas. Who knows … maybe the idea you share could be a game changer in a student’s life somewhere else. Enjoy Jason Gray’s song below.)