Advice to a 7 Year Old

Our son, Elias, turned 7 today. Poor guy had to wait until this afternoon to hit the celebration. He is a wonderful boy: strong, kind, funny, hard working, and compliant (most of the time). I asked via Twitter and Facebook, "What advice would you give to a boy beginning his seventh year of life?" Here are a few of the responses: Joe Holland said, "Love God. Weep when you repent. Make your first punch count. Be faithful when no one is looking. Treat every female like a lady."

Kevin Bacon (no, not that one, this one) said, "Life is not fair and that's OK. We will always love you and so will Jesus."

Matthew Henry (no, not that one, this one) said, "Young man, learn early that you are more of a sinner than you realize and that Jesus is more of a savior than you realize. Know that grace is what you need and that humility is what you should develop."

Jeff and Shebna Lacher said, "God gave you two ears and one mouth! That ratio is significant, so listen twice as much as you speak."

Richard Bailey said, "Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line." I think I've heard that one before.

My father offered words of wisdom to me as I grew up. I didn't always listen, but those sayings have stayed with me through the years and as I grew up I found that he knew what he was talking about.

Words matter. Yes, things are often "caught" more easily than they are "taught," and kids will do what they see us do more naturally than they will do what we say. But none of this means our words are irrelevant. Our words must be backed up by our lives, but if they are, our words will ring in their ears throughout their lives and bear lasting fruit.

Pat Aldridge and I talked in the car on the way home from the Desiring God Pastor's Conference the top five things we want out kids to know about God.

This week I'll pick up with that idea and share the top five things I want my kids to know about God, man, the church, and the world. This is some of the basic doctrine Jen and I teach our kids with words and hopefully with our lives.