Fourteen years ago in May, Revive Israel organized its first-ever parenting conference. The conference was the “sequel” to the couples’ conference held the previous Autumn. Our vision was to identify young Israeli, Hebrew-speaking couples with leadership potential and to nurture them. Why? Because one of the vital elements for reviving covenant faith in the God of Israel, is vibrant godly homes. We long to see a generation raised up to take the Land!
And so 15 young couples gathered to seek the Lord together regarding our families and our children. We came together to worship Him. We came together to receive impartation from seasoned parent-leaders. We came together to strategize on the future of education in Israel inside and outside of our homes.
We see the surrounding Israeli “sabra” culture as having some positive things to give our children, but unfortunately many negative things as well. One of the positive things is an outstanding attitude of confidence and courage when faced with difficulties and opposition. Together with this we see harmful attitudes of independence, rebellion, permissiveness, licentiousness and immorality.
We had just four things for our main conference training topics:
- order and routine as a foundation for discipline;
- affirmation and unconditional love as the heart of the parent child interaction;
- balancing justice and mercy in rearing and disciplining our children;
Children are not some impediment keeping us back from advancing in our careers, not some heavy burden keeping us from doing what we want to do in life. Our children are our primary disciples, the biggest and most significant thing we can invest in to make a mark in this world. It isn’t easy, but how could we expect changing the world to be easy! In John 21:5, Yeshua called his disciples “my sons.” The end fruit of his discipling was to make friends and sons.
There is no bigger, more fundamental grounds to test our faith and character than the daily challenge of educating our children. May we always dip into His reservoir of faith and grace to be faithful to this charge.
We were so grateful then to have gained a clearer picture of how we can parent out of much more love and consistency, and a new sense of accountability and mission in this task of ultimate importance. Where are we today? Those children are now in their teens and will be thinking about their army service in just a few more years. Do they now stand in the good of our parenting decisions and will they be able to survive in the outside world beyond our homes? One thing we know: Yeshua will still be with them and will still want them to be His disciples and friends. With Him, they can take the Land. May our labor have borne fruit in His kingdom!