Inspiration at the Gym--or, Training Our Kids to Be Firemen

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Inspiration at the Gym--or, Training Our Kids to Be Firemen

Unread post by Marie »

(Don't worry -- this isn't a post to make you feel guilty about exercise!!)

I was at the gym this afternoon when all of a sudden I heard a loud beeper. A group of on-duty firemen often work out while I am there. They were being called to a fire, and you should have seen them move! They didn't stop to debate if they should respond. They just grabbed their stuff and were out of there FAST!

This really touched me. These firemen were willing to stand in my place and put my safety above their desires. They are true servants.

But even more, I saw this as a picture of how I want to raise my children. One of my boys has wanted to be a fireman since he was little. He really wants to do something that will help people, and I admire that in him. But it struck me that in a sense, we all want our children to be firemen.

No, I don't mean actual firemen. But I do mean people who are willing to be "on-duty" all the time, who always have an ear listening in case there is an urgent need and the boss (God) calls them. Firemen are well-trained in book-knowledge, practical skills, and self-discipline; and they are physically prepared so that they are ready when they are needed. They get ready ahead of time so they can meet whatever challenge may come their way, and they never stop actively training and preparing.

How do we as parents do this--raise kids who are ready for the challenges God sends their way? I don't have all the answers, but I have some jumbled thoughts that I hope will start us all thinking. I think we all agree that kids learn the most by our example. So I would challenge all of us to consider ourselves as a type of "fireman."

We need to be ready at any moment for God's directions--they can come 24/7. We are never really off-duty. (Ask anyone with an infant!) That doesn't mean we run here and there doing every little thing that comes our way. That means we listen to our Commander and jump quickly whenever He sends directions our way. We know His voice so we can tell the difference between the other beepers that are going off and our own beeper with the voice of our Beloved commander. (For our children, learning to immediately obey parents and others in authority is a really worthy goal, as well as learning to read the Bible and hear God's voice themselves.)

We need to prepare for His call, just as firemen stay mentally and physically prepared. That means different things for different people because He doesn't call us all to the same thing. But we don't want to be tangled up in things that make it difficult for us to be flexible. For example, if we are debt-free, it is much easier to move into new life situations that God might have for us. (For our children, it means giving them spiritual as well as academic, physical, and practical training with the goal of pleasing God and living for His kingdom.)

We need to be aware of who we are as we go about our day. We are not just casual on-lookers, we are fully trained, committed world-changers. There are many in need of rescuing. Let's be preparing for that awesome task God allows us to share in, and let's be listening for the beeper to go off with our marching orders. (And let our children participate now as God directs us so that they see it as natural and normal to live a God-centered and directed life.)

The next time you see a fireman, think about the awesome commitment that he has made for your good -- and let it be reminder of your commitment to train firemen for the Kingdom!


Unread post by nikiW »

I long for that kind of fire in my children, that's why we are doing MFW with them. I want them to have the kind of passion for the Lord, so when they hear His voice they respond. We enjoy being in the Word with them, preparing them for a life of service to the Lord. The blessings of homeschooling is that we get to instill that and so much more. Thank you Marie for such encouraging words. In His service, Niki
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Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 9:38 pm

that's awesome

Unread post by JenSmith »

I really enjoyed reading about how God spoke to you through the firemen. I have been praying for guidance about my upcoming year's curriculum, and I will be ordering Adventures in My Father's World in a couple of months! I am so excited about the focus on Jesus, and I look forward to seeing what He is going to do in our lives!
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