And just like that my last born has graduated Grade 8! Where did the time go? How did the years go by so quickly. I truly don’t have any babies anymore! Both of my boys are now high school age. They are growing into young men faster than I can keep up. I must redeem the time wisely.

Graduating seems to sneak up on us, yet there have been many moments of graduating. There was the first step. They went from crawling to walking and we were so happy for them. It opened up a new world of possibilities. The first day of kindergarten they walked in happily and left me crying outside. They knew this was their next step of growth and embraced it with confidence. I couldn’t believe we were already living in that moment. There were the Grade Six graduations-leaving what was familiar and certain, to go on a new adventure of more independence. And now here we are, the continual walk forward into adulthood. There is no turning back. Although these moments of graduation come with sadness because we can’t stop the time, they also give us reasons to celebrate the milestones of growth. We celebrate seasons that have been passed successfully. We celebrate that maturity is happening.

In teaching my boys and watching them graduate it impresses on my heart that I not only need to make sure they are ready for life, but that I too am ready for the next steps God has for me.

This is what God wants for all of us, to continually walk forward and grow. He wants for us to come to a place of maturity in Him. What we see through the different stages for our children is the journey we take spiritually. The journey of parenting teaches us the journey of growth. I want to know that in this short time I have before they become men, that while they were children, I completed the task God gave me. Every graduation makes me think like this. God gives us practical Biblical tools to keep our children growing. They keep us growing too.

#1 Pray.

Pray always. Pray continually, Pray in faith and obedience. We need to pray for, pray over, pray with our children. We need to teach our children the importance of prayer and how to pray.

Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petitions, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”

1Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”

#2 Protect.

Our hearts need protection from predators and from ourselves. We need to be actively working to teach our children’s God’s Word so that they can be protected from dangers they see and don’t see; the ones they know about and don’t yet know about; the dangers they don’t even know are dangers. We protect our children physically but most importantly spiritually. Scripture tells us in Proverbs 22:15 “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child.”

They think they know so much and know better. We need to keep showing them the way God has for them and letting them know that they are growing and one day will make their own decisions. Hopefully they would have learned wisdom because I took the time to model seeking and applying wisdom.

#3 Teach.

It is not just the educational systems that teach our children. Our home is the first space for learning no matter what the world says. Deuteronomy 6:6 tells us, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” There is no excuse. It is my husband’s and my responsibility to make sure that our boys know the word of God. Teaching starts from home and with us being vocal about what God has taught us from the start of the day to the end of it. We are to “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Graduations always let me know how little time I have to give my boys a strong spiritual foundation. I pray that I have been an even better teacher to my boys than I have been in my profession.

In teaching my boys and watching them graduate it impresses on my heart that I not only need to make sure they are ready for life, but that I too am ready for the next steps God has for me.

Isaiah 28:9 asks rhetorical questions that confirm God wants us to be learning and maturing:“To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast?”

In both Hebrews 5:12-14 and 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 Paul talks of needing to be moved from milk to solid food and being ready for that. God doesn’t want us to stay babies. He wants us to grow.

Although I go through an emotional roller coaster as I celebrate graduations, I don’t want my boys to stay babies. God has so much in store for them. He has so much He wants to teach and show them. I want them to grow. I hope for weddings and grandchildren, God willing. But seriously, I pray that as I celebrate these milestones with joy and tears, that I can be comforted knowing that I have pleased God in equipping them with spiritual tools, directing them to a relationship with him and shown them that maturity is walking in obedience and loving the food God has prepared for them in this season. I remember a piece of advice I had been given when the boys were babies. I was told “The days are long, but the years are fast” This is such truth that I have held on to. May we choose to make the most of the long days in our homes and in our children’s lives for God’s Kingdom. Another graduation is coming before you know it. Will you be ready?