The day before we moved from Waco to Houston we bought our kids a baby black rabbit and named her Baylor. For 3 years Baylor was completely content in her wood cage in the back yard.
And then one day Baylor decided she was ready to explore life outside the cage and she chewed her way through the wood. I found her in the yard after she was played with by our dog. She survived and returned to her cage that was now pushed against the fence to block the hole.
It wasn't long though until Baylor chewed her way out the bottom. Trent responded by getting some lumber and closing in the bottom of our playground to give Baylor a larger home where her feet were on the ground. But that didn't last either.
Baylor was determined to be free and she eventually escaped and made her way out of our yard.
We saw her a few times in the front yard over the next few days and then the sightings stopped. You see we have coyotes in the woods near our house and at night they come into the neighborhood in search for food. I am afraid Baylor's experience in that cage did not prepare her one of those evenings.
I remembered that story the other day as I was pondering the importance of intentional living in raising my kids.
My kids are a lot like Baylor in that the comforts of this home will someday not be enough for their curious little minds and they will do everything in their power to leave the nest and see the outside world.
My job is to do for them what we did not do for Baylor. I must prepare them now for the "coyotes" that wait for them. I want them to be ready so they can respond victoriously.
As parents it is so easy to get caught up in the day to day activities and then look up and find that our children's biggest influence was the world around them and not the lessons we took the time (or didn't) to teach them.
As much as ever I feel a real burden to be more intentional in my instruction of my kids. I am not talking about putting them in more programs where other people teach them truth. I am talking about intentionally looking into their little hearts, seeing where they need instruction, and then slowing down enough myself to do a better job investing in them that way. Think about this. Kids these days spend several hours a week preparing to be the next great baseball player, gymnast, rocket scientist, and so forth. What if we intentionally spent that same amount of time personally investing in our children's character? Who might they turn out to be and what might God do with their lives? If you are challenged with me, stay tuned because I am going to share some things I have learned from others on the how over the next few posts.