by Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
After the long cold winter, any day of warm sunshine has quickly brought out the sprinklers, slip-n-slides, water balloons, and kiddie pools. Willamette Valley weather is all about the seasons, and just about everyone is ready for the summer season, even if it isn’t here yet. Nothing is quite as shocking as running through a sprinkler or jumping into water that feels like recent glacier-melt. Shocking screams of delight of all-too-eager children tells us that summer is just around the corner.
As the school year comes to its end, it can also be a shocking transition into summer. The days are longer and new schedules await. Even though the school commitment has ended, the summer season can be just as busy and certainly less routine. Deuteronomy 11:19 provides wise instructions regarding how families should spend their time. “You shall teach them (God’s principles) to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” While part of this lifestyle is fulfilled daily through discipleship training at Crosshill, the most vital instruction occurs in the home. Just as daily Bible classes and weekly chapels are coming to an end, structured family devotions can easily vanish in the summer as new schedules begin.
Structured learning such as schooling and devotions have tremendous value, but of greater value is a lifestyle of learning. While the chaos of summer will be unpredictable at times, many families will have a few predictable changes. There will be more hours traveling together as a family. There will be more hours staying up late enjoying the nicer weather. There will be more adventures outside and less living room entertainment. All of these “spontaneous” activities will provide life-on-life modeling and mentoring as time is spent with our children.
Just as an unprepared Bible teacher or an unprepared Pastor would not be surprised if their teaching was ineffective, unprepared parents should be equally aware. Am I only prepared to talk with my children this summer about my interests? Or am I prepared to engage my children with their interests, getting down on my hands and knees (so to speak), investing my life into theirs? And am I spending quality time alone with God so that I can engage my children and their interests daily through a Christian worldview?
I am grateful for those at Crosshill who daily disciple my children. But as the school year comes to an end, and I consider this upcoming season, I realize that without intentionality in my parenting, my children may return in the fall fairly unchanged. If I’m not prepared, my parenting may be as shocking as getting sprayed unexpectedly by a cold garden hose, or randomly attacked by a wild water balloon. Just as the swimming pools will warm up and our bodies will acclimate, may we as parents warm up and acclimate our priorities to maximize all the opportunities this summer provides.
– Adam Kronberger / Superintendent